The latest fur market update is as discouraging as the previous few. North American Fur Auctions completed its February sale a few days ago, which was met with very mixed results.
The high volume fur items that typically drive the fur market: namely raccoon, coyote and beaver, sold at extremely low levels.
Beaver commanded such selective demand (which means buyers were very picky!) that average and percent sold figures were not even posted.
Raccoon sold with similarly selective demand. Lots sold at levels between 0-65%, and averages ranged from around $2.50-$18.50. This is a far cry from the same fur in the same auction a year ago.
Coyotes sold at lower percentages and lower averages than a year ago. Lower quality goods were withdrawn due to lack of demand.
Other furs, particularly those with more limited supply, sold at better levels and prices, while reduced, were not as depressing as the coyote, raccoon and beaver sales.
Muskrat sold well. 100% of muskrats offered sold, with averages of $2.55 and $3.86 for Western and Eastern goods, respectively. This likely reflects the relative strength of the Chinese fur market, while the low beaver, coon and coyote sales reflect a weak Russian market.
Marten and Fisher sold at 100%, at reduced, but still fairly decent prices.
Western bobcats, which were averaging over $500 in many markets last year, averaged just over $280.
All things considered, other fur items sold fairly well.
Overall, the February NAFA sale was discouraging, but not altogether a failure. We are in tough global economic times, and just like the economy, the fur market will take time to recover.