Some bright spots, some disappointments, but no great surprises. That’s the upshot of NAFA’s May 2017 Wild Fur Auction. Fur continues to move, but prices resemble a fairly depressed market compared to recent years. Folks looking to pay some bills with their fur check should already know better – some major changes need to take place in the global economy for fur prices to tick back up. Anyway, here are the results:
Coyote pelts continue to sell well, driven by a strong fashion trade that’s decided they’re what’s hot. The top quality Western coyotes averaged $93, while semi and eastern goods sold for around $50, and even low quality furs brought around $19.
Red fox prices were disappointing, averaging $14-19. Before now, foxes were selling consistently around $20-30 for a very long time.
Raccoon pelts finally found their way back into the fur market, with a 100% clearance of fresh goods for the first time in years. Prices averaged $7 – $15, with values tied directly to size and quality.
Beaver prices continue to be in the basement. There wasn’t even much variation in price among section (which is unusual), indicating that the southern hatter market is almost as strong as the rest of the beaver trade. That such a large, durable, high quality pelt can be worth so little is sad. Beaver averaged around $11.
Demand for Muskrat pelts wasn’t high enough to attract prices that NAFA was hoping for, and the ‘rat pelts were mostly withdrawn. We’ll have to see what happens in the next auction to determine what will happen with muskrat prices. I fear we’ll see a bunch of pelts being dumped in July for $2-3.
Wild mink sold well, at similar prices they’ve sold for the past decade or so, $12 average.
Otter averaged around $37, which is lower than past years, but an improvement this season.
Bobcat prices remain pretty strong, mainly supported by demand in the fashion trade for the high quality Western cats with large white spotted bellies. Those Western cats averaged around $385, with Eastern bobcats selling around $70.
Lynx sold for around $77, a relatively poor price for our friends in Canada and Alaska who rely on lynx to help pay the bills when their population levels are high.
Marten sold well, averaging $64 overall, with semi’s bringing $55 and heavy’s at $84.
Fisher were disappointing, averaging $49 overall. Female fisher prices were down, but demand remained for large males.
Here are some other averages:
Badger – $26
Skunk – $5
Weasel – $1.61
Opossum – $1.74
Cross Fox – $18
Wolf – $180
Wolverine – $240
Grey Fox – unsold
Those are the NAFA results. What do they mean for the fur market? It seems as though we’ve entered the new normal for fur prices for the foreseeable future, but things can change fast. FHA’s May Auction starts this week. Stay tuned for more.