North American Fur Auctions kicked off their 2018 auction season with a sale of wild fur beginning on February 26th. Despite a tough fur market, a large percentage of the offered fur sold, with the exception of raccoon and fox.
Coyotes were the highlight of the sale, with prices advancing to even higher levels, and increased demand from buyers throughout the world. It really is a great time to be a coyote trapper. 100% of the more than 73,000 coyotes sold. Heavy coyotes averaged $106, and semi’s averaged $57. Eastern coyotes, which had been bringing prices in the 20’s, advanced to $41. Even Section III coyotes averaged almost $20! It was a good auction to have coyotes in, with much higher prices than many of the local auctions and country buyers have been paying. Sometimes you never know.
At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum were the 35,000+ beaver offered at the sale. Just when you thought beaver prices couldn’t get any lower, they did. In fact, this is the first time in recent history that Western beavers ($12.15) averaged better than Easterns ($10.46), and those flat Section III beavers sold for the same price ($10.39) as the Easterns! Whatever small premium existed for a prime beaver pelt seems to be gone, and the hatter market may be the only driving force that’s allowing any beaver to move. If you have quality northern beaver pelts, it’s probably time to get them tanned and start getting creative.
Otter did as good as could be expected, averaging just over $30.
Wild mink advanced, selling at 100% for an $11.38 average.
The pullback in the muskrat market was evident in this auction. They haven’t weakened much, but the $3.50-$4 averaged we’d hoped for at the beginning of the season wasn’t reached. They sold for $3.22.
A small percentage of high end raccoons sold for over $20, but prices dropped off quite a bit after that. The Canadian section coon were the only ones that sold at 100%, for an average of just over $8.
A $23 average for grey fox sounds great, but only 60% sold, which usually means there was a lot of cherry picking by buyers. That seemed to be the case even more with red fox, which averaged around $17-25, but most didn’t sell.
Lynx averaged around $64, with 70% sold.
Western bobcats averaged $379, but many did not sell. NAFA didn’t provide an average price for other bobcats, but listening to the sale, there didn’t appear to be much demand for most of them.
Marten did very well. 100% sold, with semi-heavy marten averaging $58, and heavy first section averaging $88.
Fisher averaged $46 overall, with 91% sold.
All in all, it was good to see fur move in the February auction. That’ll make for less of a backlog of fur in subsequent auctions later in the selling season.