(Yicai Global) Sept. 26 -- Lake Yangcheng's crab season kicked off on Sept. 23, with prices of its hairy crabs jumping 20 to 30 percent from last year to a decade high of about CNY440 (USD66) a kilogram.
This year's season was delayed due to climate change. Also, because of floods earlier in the year, high temperatures and other issues, the yield of hairy crabs from Lake Yangcheng is only about 2,100 tons, about the same as last year.
The freshwater lake is located about three kilometers northeast of Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu province next to Shanghai. It is famous for the hairy crabs, so called for their distinctive hairy forearms, which are considered a seasonal delicacy. Lake Yangcheng's crabs are often more expensive than those from other places.
According to local experts, the lake's hairy crabs have been withdrawn from farmers' markets since 2010, and have only been sold through franchised stores, supermarkets, authorized luxury hotels and e-commerce platforms.
The sales volume from online retail exceeded 60 percent of the total last year. In 2016, e-commerce platforms, such as JD.com and yhd.com, have signed cooperation agreements with the Lake Yangcheng Hairy Crab Industry Association, striving to achieve a sales volume of 50 percent of overall sales.
It is reported that if Beijing customers make orders through JD.com, they may receive the crab within 24 hours, delivered fresh from the lake, which is more than 1,000 kilometers away. Over 170 cities nationwide can receive orders within 48 hours.