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Monday, Feb 06, 2023

Growth and sales of hairy crabs damaged by hot weather

Growth and sales of hairy crabs damaged by hot weather

The consistently high temperatures in the mainland have damaged the growth and subsequent sales of hairy crabs, leading to increased costs across the board. Restaurant crab meals could see an increase in price by 30%.
Ms Kei, the owner of the long-established hairy crab brand "Old San Yang", said that hairy crabs grow most when it is 22 to 23 degrees Celsius, as they are incentivised to eat and grow fatter.

She emphasised that August is a critical period for the growth of crabs. If the weather conditions are right, the crabs could even double in size.

However, with unpredictable weather conditions and high temperatures in the mainland, Kei now has to pay special attention to the growth of the crabs and worry about the shortage in supply.

Apart from the weather factors, Kei estimated that the price of crabs would be higher this year due to the freight and labour costs. As it involves many variables, she is uncertain how much prices would inflate.

The Association for Hong Kong Catering Services Management president Yeung Wai-sing is similarly not optimistic about the hairy crab supply and sales this year.

Although crabs are a popular delicacy within restaurants, he fears that the volume of sales will decrease in bulk as there are not many crabs that could be delivered to Hong Kong.

Yeung estimates that the cost price of crabs will double from the previous year. He also fears that restaurant crab meals will increase in price by 30% as well.

Although there are crab farms in Yuen Long, Yeung stated that those were much too expensive for conventional consumption. Due to high operating costs and prices, those crabs could be sold for HK$100 apiece, with target consumers being high-end restaurants.

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