By Diao Jiayi
Autumn is the season for eating crabs in China, and the most famous crabs come from Lake Yangcheng in Suzhou, Jiangsu province. But a combination of poor weather, floods and other natural disasters have reduced the number of crabs in the market and spiked the price by 20 to 30 percent.
On September 23, the opening of the crab catching season, farmers drew 2,100 tons of crab from the lake in nets.
今年9月23日是阳澄湖大闸蟹正式开捕的日子，预计今年的大闸蟹产量约 2100 吨。
Although the total weight of crabs pulled from the lake represented a 5 percent increase from last year, the crabs are on average 4.5 percent smaller, the Suzhou Agriculture Committee said.
Heavy rains in Suzhou during June and July affected the environment of the crabs and contributed to a high temperature that killed many.
A crab shop owner said the price of crab rose 15 percent this year.
Male crabs weighing 200 grams each and female crabs weighing 150 grams cost 200 yuan per kilogram. Single crabs cost 70 to 100 yuan.
不过，今年阳澄湖大闸蟹价格则比去年上浮了 20%至30%，可能创近 10 年来新高。今年大闸蟹价格公四母三规格（公蟹每只4两，母蟹每只3两左右）单只出水价约 220 元/斤。也就是说，单只螃蟹的价格在70元到100元左右。
Crabs molt and develop new shells throughout their life. The last molt of the year came late, and it’s still a month too early for crabs to reach their strongest and fattest state of the year. Late October is expected to be the best time to eat crabs this year, according to wholesalers.