NAFA Update: “Beaver and Raccoon Results Test Our Resolve”

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By Herman Jansen, Managing Director, North American Fur Auctions

April 2, 2015

For those of you that shipped coyote, sable and female fisher to NAFA for our March sale, your results should bring smiles.  For those of you that shipped us raccoon and beaver, your patience is wearing thin, and this is understandable. Nevertheless, supporters of NAFA and the WFSC should be proud that all of our past and collective wild fur promotion efforts have helped maintain and grow the market for sable, fisher and coyote.

Five years ago, very few people in China knew the word fisher.  This week in our sale, it was China that bought nearly all of the female fisher.  The results were uneven because the Chinese buyers were not as interested in purchasing the males, which we partially withdrew.  The point is, however, that without proper wild fur promotion, we would never have sold the Chinese manufacturers and retailers fisher, sable and other wild fur articles.

Raccoon is a more difficult article for our Chinese customers.  It is too bulky and the skin too heavy to make jackets for the smaller Chinese ladies.  A few years ago, we were selling strips that were put on ladies boots, but that fashion trend has ended.  We need a new major raccoon campaign.  NAFA’s promotion department has been successful in getting a number of the Italian fashion houses to buy sample quantities in our sale, which resulted in comparatively high prices in some selected qualities and colours.  As with the coyotes, once we have the leading international fashion industry supporting and buying this article, young people around the world will follow a new fashion trend.  Many potential customers in North America and Europe still look at raccoon as a non-desirable fur item.  In North America, this is partly due to the raccoon’s urban habitat.

For the remainder of this selling season, we see the market potential of the fashion industry, the trim trade and Russia coming back later in the year. This should allow us to sell larger quantities of raccoon at the price levels that we established in our March sale. It is too early to change the price integrity  – we will need to be patient.

The Russian ruble has stabilized over the last 3 to 4 weeks at around 57 rubles to the U.S. dollar.  Hopefully, Mr. Putin will find it in Russia’s best interests to stay away from further Russian aggression and look after the Russian economy.

Overall, the fur market, which is 85% ranched mink, has done well because of the incredible Chinese demand for mink. NAFA will continue to look at every possible way to expand the wild fur market worldwide. In the meantime, as I have already said, we will all need to be patient with an article like raccoon because just dropping the price will not benefit our producers right now. It is the job of your auction company to maximize your return and we take this responsibility very seriously.

Trapping News Update: April 2015

Here’s a bit of news from the trapping world this week.

Restrictions to trappers in Minnesota are being considered by the state’s legislature, including requirements to help prevent the chances of body gripping traps from catching dogs, and a proposal requiring trappers to obtain written permission from landowners.  The Ruffed Grouse Society has weighed in on the issues, as well as Daily Globe columnist Scott Rall.

In other news, New Hampshire trappers may get the opportunity to trap bobcats via a lottery system with a proposed 75 bobcat tags, while the animal rights activists in California are trying to expand bans on bobcat trapping altogether.

It’s a crazy world we live in…….

State Fur Auction Results: March 2015

Ohio Fur Auction Results

The Ohio State Trappers Association held a fur auction on March 14, 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $9.14 average, with 55 sold.

Red Fox – $17.43 average, with 40 sold.

Gray Fox – $8.36 average, with 11 sold.

Raccoon – $3.81 average, with 1530 sold.

Coyote – $12.17 average, with 100 sold.

Opossum – $0.90 average, with 70 sold.

Bobcat – $25.00 average, with 2 sold.

Muskrat – $4.75 average, with 1041 sold.

Click here to view the full Ohio State Trappers Association March 2015 Fur Auction Results.

West Virginia Fur Auction Results

The West Virginia Trappers Association held a fur auction on March 8, 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $10.35 average, with 274 sold.

Red Fox – $18.67 average, with 623 sold.

Gray Fox – $15.77 average, with 303 sold.

Raccoon – $7.10 average, with 3588 sold.

Coyote – $17.76 average, with 948 sold.

Opossum – $2.06 average, with 835 sold.

Skunk – $1.33 average, with 73 sold.

Bobcat – $47.59 average, with 456 sold.

Muskrat – $5.59 average, with 1695 sold.

Click here to view the full West Virginia Trappers Association March 2015 Fur Auction Results.

Arkansas Fur Auction Results

The Arkansas Trappers Association held a fur auction in March 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $8.12 average, with 231 sold.

Red Fox – $25.25 average, with 2 sold.

Gray Fox – $12.35 average, with 75 sold.

Raccoon – $3.01 average, with 957 sold.

Coyote – $12.91 average, with 143 sold.

Opossum – $0.88 average, with 130 sold.

Bobcat – $51.24 average, with 76 sold.

Muskrat – $3.62 average, with 75 sold.

Otter – $25.89 average, with 87 sold.

Click here to view the full Arkansas Association March 2015 Fur Auction Results.

Nevada Fur Auction Results

The Nevada Trappers Association held a fur auction the last weekend of February 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $12.24 average, with 107 sold.

Red Fox – $33.12 average, with 11 sold.

Gray Fox – $16.23 average, with 588 sold.

Raccoon – $4.82 average, with 10 sold.

Coyote – $47.68 average, with 784 sold.

Mink – $11.61 average, with 11 sold.

Bobcat – $328.98 average, with 1060 sold.

Muskrat – $4.29 average, with 384 sold.

Otter – $37.50 average, with 2 sold.

Click here to view the full Nevada Association February/March 2015 Fur Auction Results.

 

Globe and Mail: 2015 Fur Market Turmoil

In China, some of the fur buyers are in jail, while others are under investigation. In Russia, a plunging ruble and economic sanctions are keeping the mink-clad jet set at home – often in very real ways, with wealthy buyers unable to secure travel visas.

It has, in other words, become a bad time to sell fur, most of which has traditionally gone to those two countries. Now a double set of misfortune has slashed prices and hurt the outlook for an industry that had been in the midst of a comeback from the dark days of animal rights criticism. Fur has become one of the more overlooked victims of recent global economic turmoil.

Read more here.

Kansas Fur Auction Results: January 2015

KansasFHAlogoThe Kansas Fur Harvester’s Association held a fur auction on January 17th, 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $6.42 average, with 21 sold.

Wild Mink$7.50 average, with 2 sold.

Raccoon – $7.73 average, with 532 sold.

Badger – $13.20 average, with 5 sold.

Coyote$8.70 average, with 64 sold.

Possum – $1.18 average, with 11 sold.

Bobcat – $66.55 average, with 36 sold.

Muskrat – $15.00 average, with 108 sold.

Click here to view the full Kansas Fur Harvester’s Association January 2015 Fur Auction Results.

Ohio Fur Auction Results: February 2015

The Ohio State Trappers Association held a fur auction on February 7, 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $13.35 average with 15 sold.

Wild Mink$7.03 average, with 53 sold.

Red Fox$18.18 average, with 68 sold.

Gray Fox – $15.00 average, with 2 sold.

Raccoon – $5.69 average, with 1264 sold.

Coyote$13.44 average, with 157 sold.

Muskrat – $5.92 average, with 568 sold.

Opossum – $2.23 average, with 52 sold.

Click here to view the full Ohio State Trappers Association February 2015 Fur Auction Results.

Oklahoma Fur Auction Results: February 2015

The Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance held a fur auction on February 7, 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $3.59 average, with 32 sold.

Red Fox$15.00 average, with 1 sold.

Gray Fox – $14.57 average, with 7 sold.

Raccoon – $3.20 average, with 440 sold.

Coyote$11.11 average, with 54 sold.

Possum – $1.20 average, with 293 sold.

Skunk – $1.00 average, with 17 sold.

Bobcat – $75.12 average, with 144 sold.

Otter – $30.30 average, with 5 sold.

Badger – $12.00 average, with 2 sold.

Click here to view the full Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance February 2015 Fur Auction Results.

Colorado Fur Auction Results: February 2015

The Colorado Trappers Association held a fur auction on February 12, 2015.

Below are some highlights from the auction:

Beaver – $15.46 average, with 170 sold.

Red Fox$30.80 average, with 182 sold.

Gray Fox – $17.00 average, with 87 sold.

Raccoon – $11.16 average, with 698 sold.

Coyote$40.74 average, with 1614 sold.

Possum – $13.00 average, with 7 sold.

Skunk – $15.30 average, with 141 sold.

Bobcat – $95.56 – $177.86 average, with 138 sold.

Muskrat – $2.49 average, with 234 sold.

Pine Marten – $21.00 average, with 8 sold.

Badger – $18.29 average, with 70 sold.

Click here to view the full Colorado Trappers Association February 2015 Fur Auction Results.

New Fleshing Machine Wows Canadian Trappers

Anyone want to invest in a revolutionary new fleshing machine? John Seabrook of Manitoulin Island in Canada has developed a device that makes fleshing pelts quicker, easier, and much less painful on the back! Here’s more:

MANITOULIN—John Seabrook unveiled his fleshing device last weekend at a Manitoulin Trappers’ Association workshop in front of a large crowd of eager Island trappers.

The device features a built in chair and interchangeable forms for cleaning different types and parts of animals, making the task of fleshing animal hides easier for seasoned trappers and newbies alike.

The new invention could prove fruitful for a willing investor.

“The two big benefits of this machine are sitting and having it right in front of you so you can see what you’re doing,” continued Mr. Seabrook. “I was going to patent it until I found out it costs $7,500 just to talk to a guy and then another $100,000 by the time you are done (filing for the patent). I would like if someone more business minded than me approached me at making these, because I don’t really want to, but they are great and I could see them helping a lot of trappers. I wouldn’t even trap if I didn’t have one.

Read the full story here.