NAFA February 2013 Fur Auction Results
February 25, 2013
Here’s NAFA’s report on their February fur auction.
Record Attendance Creates Record Prices
100% CLEARANCES WITH NEW HIGHS
February 22, 2013
NAFA, nor any other auction house in North America, has ever seen a buyer attendance for a fur sale such as we saw here in Toronto this week. Registration for NAFA’s 2013 winter sale was over 700 buyers, with 470 from Hong Kong/China, more than 100 from Russia and Greece and 50 Koreans. This, combined with buyers attending the sale from Turkey, Eastern Europe, North America and other European countries, meant our auction room was full to bursting each selling day.
Throughout the wild fur sale, Hong Kong/China was exceptionally active, but in many articles, we also enjoyed strong support from Russia and Greece. In the exclusive fashion category, we still saw excellent buying from the top fashion houses in Europe and North America.
NAFA’s wild fur promotion has been an important factor in increasing China’s buying of wild fur. It was only a few years ago that China showed very limited interest in wild fur. Today, with the huge amount that NAFA has now cumulatively invested in wild fur promotion, this has all completely changed. We have to recognize that fur is in fashion in China, where up until now, ranch raised mink was their number one article. Without NAFA’s wild fur promotional programs, it would not have been possible to sell articles like Fisher, Sable and most of the Raccoon into this important market at these levels. Coupled with the coldest winter in 28 years in China, this has created an unbelievably strong fur market.
In all of the long haired articles throughout our wild fur sale, the trimming trade was very active. This reflects the popularity of fur trim on all types of outerwear.
New highs were achieved for Fisher, which saw the traditional buyers having to compete with Chinese retail manufacturers for the first time. Prices increased 50% to 70% over February 2012 levels. The average price was $156.67 with the Top Lot sold for $350.00
Close to 100,000 Can/Am Sables also saw an incredible price increase over last February of 55% to 60%. Again, the traditional buying markets of Russia and Greece had to compete with Hong Kong/China, which dominated this sale. However, Russia and Greece still took their fair share of all of the goods offered. The average price was $144.29 with the Top Lot sold for $650.00.
Over 400,000 Raccoon sold 100% at an overall average of $31.20, compared to $16.90 last year, an increase of over 80%. However, the heavier, better sections quite often saw price increases of 100%. The influence from the trimming trade was felt throughout the Raccoon sale as they took the lion’s share of the goods. Here again, China dominated, with good support from Russia and Greece. This was not only a truly unbelievable accomplishment, but long overdue for this important article. The Top Lot was sold for $240.00.
Muskrats advanced 10% over our very strong sale last February, with an average of $11.51. Again, China dominated in this important article. The Top Lot was sold for $54.00.
160,000 Beavers sold 100% at an Eastern average of $37.73 and a Western Average of $31.03. Price averages declined 18% overall from last year’s February very high Beaver sale. This result is somewhat better than expected and reflects the ongoing dressing problems for this article. Again, China dominated. The Top Lot was sold for $400.00.
Otters had a very strong sale, advancing over last year’s already high levels. Again, China dominated, with good support from Greece and Russia. Better quality Otters are now being sheared and used for men’s coats. The average price was $112.58 with the Top Lot sold for $260.00.
Lynx sold under very strong competition with Russia, Greece and China all in the mix to buy. This resulted in a 40% increase over last February. Nearly all of the Lynx will be used for trimming. The average price was $194.44 with the Top Lot sold for $525.00.
Lynx Cats produced new highs, with all major markets competing for this beautiful article, which is mostly used in the big sizes for trimming and the smaller sizes for garments. Greece and Russia dominated with good support from China. The average price for Westerns was $589.08 with the Top Lot sold for $3,000.00.
Coyotes sold exceptionally well with Italy, Canada and China competing aggressively for all sections. Premiums were paid throughout for heavier, better quality Westerns, which averaged $93.98 with the Top Lot sold for $1,400.00.
Red Foxes sold under strong competition with premiums paid for heavier goods, better colours. Again, China dominated with good support from Europe and Russia. The average price was $65.78 with the Top Lot sold for $340.00
The sale concluded today with Grey Foxes, which sold 100% under good competition at advancing prices, primarily to the trim trade. Again, China dominated. The average price was $45.91 with the Top Lot sold for $68.00.
The combination of the record attendance of buyers from all major markets, the fact that fur is fashion, especially in China and Russia, and the long cold winter in China, came together to generate the “perfect storm” for our producers.
The sale will conclude tomorrow with miscellaneous and taxidermy articles.
Wild Fur Reaches New Highs – NAFA February 2013 Fur Market Update
February 25, 2013
“I should have trapped more last fall”. That’s a phrase that’s likely to be heard more and more over the next couple of months if wild fur prices continue their run upward.
North American Fur Auctions held there first big fur sale of the year last week, and the results were excellent.
Here’s their initial reaction:
Wild Fur Reaches New Highs!
New Highs reached for Fisher, Can-Am Sable & Raccoons
NAFA’s 2013 winter Wild Fur auction opened with a record number of buyers in the auction room actively bidding for one of the largest and best collections of wild fur in recent memory.
The sale began with a terrific offering of North American Wild Mink which sold under strong competition at as much as 25% over expectations to new high levels.
Musquash sold at very high prices, totally dominated by China, advancing 10 % over last year’s already high February levels.
Fisher was one of the highlights of the previous day’s sale as it sold at prices that haven’t been seen in recent times, advancing more than 40% over expected levels. Chinese manufacturers and retailers played a major role in establishing these new prices.
Can-Am Sables were also a highly sought after article by Chinese buyers who aggressively competed with the established markets for this item and pushed it to record price levels.
Day One of the Wild Fur sale concluded with an offering of nearly 440,000 raccoons which sold under strong competition from China at prices, once again, not seen in recent memory.
Ranched Silver Fox sold well at advancing price levels, with some resistance for the best quality and biggest sizes.
These NAFA results come at the heels of the successful Fur Harvesters auction in January. We’ll keep you posted on forthcoming auction results, but for now, things are looking up for fur!
NAFA’s June 2012 Wild Fur Market Report
June 8, 2012
Here’s the latest (June 2012) report from NAFA about the current state of the wild fur market following the most recent auction.
Wild Fur Market Eases
NAFA’s May Sale attracted the largest attendance of international buyers in recent memory, which resulted in record quantities of wild fur being sold.
The wild fur sale began with an offering of approximately 20,000 Lynx Cats and 4,700 Lynx, which sold 100% under very strong competition. Greece was the major taker with good support from Russia, Italy and North America. Price levels for Lynx Cats were slightly easier than February for the top end, while the rest of the collection sold at firm to advancing levels. The Lynx collection sold at firm to advancing levels, with all markets participating. Most of these Lynx and Lynx Cats will be used for trimming, primarily on North American black mink coats.
Can/Am Sables sold 100%, under strong competition from all markets, which shows that this article continues to be one of the most fashionable wild fur products. Premiums were paid for the larger sizes in both the semi and heavies, which are mostly used for trim on both mink and textile coats.
Red Fox sold very well, but the top end of the collection was met with some price resistance, which resulted in a small quantity of the better quality skins being withdrawn. Grey Fox sold 100% at very realistic prices, which should be sustainable in the future.
The top end of the male Fisher was met with price resistance and partially withdrawn, while all of the commercial and lower end sold. Females sold 100%, but at easier prices compared to February.
Nearly 100,000 Coyotes were offered on this sale, selling over 80% with some of the better, heavier qualities being withdrawn. North American and European fashion houses are the primary customer of quality Coyotes that are being used for trim. The increased quantities that have been sold to these fashion houses have resulted in dressing backlogs. This slower production is the primary reason the trade is reluctant to purchase more of these skins at this time. We would expect that by September the situation will have improved sufficiently to sell the skins at the proper price levels. All of the commercial and inferior qualities have been sold.
Our collection of Otter sold very well at the commercial and lower end. Most of the better skins were withdrawn due to price resistance. The difference between our value and what the trade was willing to pay was $20 to $30, a result of lower levels established at a recent auction. We do expect that we will be able to sell the better quality skins later this year at closer to our valuations.
Contrary to our February sale where Beaver sold at sharply increased prices, the Beaver met with price resistance. This was due to our reluctance to lower values to meet buyers ’price expectations that were established at the most recent wild fur sale. The large offerings of Beaver have once again resulted in dressing delays. You may remember that last year NAFA invested time and money helping our Chinese dressing plants improve the quality of Beaver dressing. The expertise that we have provided has helped immensely and the quality of fur dressing today in several dressing plants has improved, but Beaver is still a very difficult and time consuming article to dress. Again, we strongly believe that the goods that we have withdrawn will find better price levels later. All of the lower valued skins were sold.
Well over half a million Muskrats were offered and selling over 80%, with nearly all larger sizes and better qualities unsold. Price levels for Muskrats were approximately 10% to 15% easier compared to the record setting levels established in our February sale. Even at these adjusted levels this article is still attractively priced to our producers.
The largest quantity of fresh Raccoon ever offered by NAFA in a single sale sold at much higher clearances than anticipated. Although price levels were easier than our February sale, the increased quantities attracted more buyers, particularly from China. For our Chinese buyers, the increased Raccoon quantity is very beneficial because it fits into their production scheme better; as a result several of these manufacturers purchased quantities of 25,000 to 50,000 skins. NAFA’s promotional arm is working with several of these manufacturers and helping them with design. The Northern Lights campaign is involved in promoting this important article in China and Russia, but we believe most importantly it needs new and more fashionable designs. NAFA has promised many of our larger buyers to help them in designing a product that can be sold to younger customers where fashion is the most important issue.
In order to sell the unsold articles from the May auction, NAFA will make special visits to all markets. We are planning to hold workshops in Greece and China where we will attempt to aggressively sell the remaining unsold wild fur product. We recognize how important it is for all of our producers to sell all of the skins before the new season begins and trust that over the summer and during September and October, this will be accomplished. The May Sale results, compared to our record setting February sale, are disappointing in certain articles, however the overall wild fur picture still remains positive. You have NAFA and the Wild Fur Shippers Council commitment to continue with the promotional efforts, which have proven to be a very important tool in the sale of wild fur.
NAFA June 2012 Wild Fur Sale Results
June 5, 2012
Below are some highlights from North American Fur Auctions‘ June 2012 Wild Fur Sale.
Saturday June 2nd marked NAFA’s first day of its June Wild Fur Sale. According to NAFA, they have put together “one of the largest and best offerings of wild fur in recent memory”. No doubt this large offering is in response to upward trending wild fur prices over the past year.
The offering for Saturday included bobcat, lynx, marten, red fox, grey fox and fisher. Here are some results:
Bobcat pelts sold 100% at averages of $68 – $380, with the top fur bringing $1,275.
Lynx sold 100% with an average price of $123 and a top of $340.
Marten sold 100%, averaging $46 – $128.
Red Fox sold near 100%, averaging $39.
Grey Fox sold 100%, averaging $26.
A smaller percentage of fisher pelts sold, but the ones that did sell averaged $68 – 80.
On day 2 of the Wild Fur Sale, NAFA offered the high volume fur pelts that are the bread and butter for most of the trapping community. Here are some results from day 2:
Coyotes sold at decent levels (74-87%) with an average of $21 – $51.
Raccoon pelts sold at varying levels with prices from $3 – $19.
Mink sold 100% with a $21 average
Otter sold at 50%, averaging $70. Some were held back due to price resistance.
Beaver cleared at lower levels and averaged $9 – $32.
Muskrat sold at 80% and averaged $8.10.
The rest of the wild fur sold on day 3. Weasels averaged $2.75, Badger $41, and Skunk at $3.69.
Overall, the red hot fur market we saw in February seems to have cooled down quite a bit, but fur prices for many items are still better than they’ve been in a few years. Will prices bounce back or start in a downward trend? NAFA seems fairly optimistic. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens when the next fur auction season comes around again!
Click on the following links for detailed fur auction results:
NAFA February 2012 Fur Auction Results
February 22, 2012
North American Fur Auctions has had an exciting week of fur sales. The good news for trappers is that the fur market appears to be up significantly. See the press releases below for more information.
NAFA February 20, 2012 Auction Results (wild fur)
NAFA February 21, 2012 Auction Results (wild fur)
Fox Fur Prices May Encourage NWT Trappers
January 23, 2012
Recent record-high prices for fox pelts may cause more trappers in Northwest Territories (Canada) and beyond to target fox in their operations. Here’s an excerpt from a CTV News article that reports on the high prices:
The Northwest Territories government is hoping record prices for fox fur pelts will encourage northern trappers to target the critters and keep a check on the burgeoning population.The price doubled at a recent auction in North Bay, Ont., with cross fox pelts going for $100, more than triple the average price. White fox pelts went for $200 — up from $40 in previous years.
Francois Rossouw, with the territory’s Industry Department, said that kind of price for fox is unheard of.
“We really hope the prices will get people targeting foxes,” Rossouw said. “Every community in the North has their own resident fox it seems. Instead of having problem wildlife, we would prefer to have them harvest the foxes humanely and pelt them up properly and put them into the market.”
Fur has garnered above-average prices this year compared to years past, Rossouw said. Wild fox is particularly in demand from Chinese buyers.
Early 2012 Fur Market Report
January 11, 2012
Two recent fur sales gave us a great indicator of what to expect for fur prices in 2012. On January 7th, Fur Harvesters Auction Inc. held its first fur sale of the year. The sale went extremely well, with high averages for most species. Click here to read the FHA auction report.
Here’s a recap of the prices:
Fur Harvesters Auction, Inc. January 7, 2012 fur sale averages:
Beaver – $7.03-33.85 (most $18.42-33.85)
Mink – $20.87
Otter – $82.15
Muskrat – $8.72
Fisher – $38.00-$57.47
Raccoon – $13.31-$18.89
Red Fox – $26.64-53.43
Grey Fox – $24.32
Skunk – $2.51
Coyote – $63.30-$68.77
Wolverine – $222.35
Wolf – $125.31-$403.94
Weasel – $3.56
Additionally, North American Fur Auctions held a private treaty fur sale on January 10, 2012 that reaffirmed the elevated fur prices.
Here’s an overview of those results:
January 2012 Private Treaty Sale
Sale of Muskrat Exceeds Expectation
January 10, 2012
NAFA held a Private Treaty Sale over this past weekend which included nearly 100,000 fresh Muskrats as well as a selected offering of Coyotes, Beaver and Raccoon.
Muskrats sold 100% at very high prices with Section I averaging $9.03. The better qualities were sold in line with our record-breaking May 2011 sale.
Coyotes sold 100% at increased prices with a limited collection trimming coyote averaging $70.47, reflecting very strong demand from the North American trim trade.
Beavers sold 100% at sharply increased prices, reflecting a better understanding of this article from China, which now recognizes it is priced very attractively in either square centimeters or square inches. Overall Eastern larger sizes averaged $41.17 with Westerns at $37.03.
The limited offering of Raccoon was not large enough to attract sufficient buying power and was mostly withdrawn. To achieve success, this article needs a larger attendance and more participation from major overseas markets, which will be well represented in our February auction.
NAFA’s senior management is currently travelling to the major international markets and we are expecting a very large attendance for our February sale.
The results of these auctions bode well for the fur market in the next several months. Let’s hope the trend continues!
Market for Muskrats Gains Attention
January 4, 2012
The Wall Street Journal just posted an interesting article on the recent rise in demand and prices for muskrat furs. They took the time to interview several trappers and relay their thoughts on the muskrat market, as well as the fur market in general.
The North American muskrat market has been booming, thanks to soaring purchases by Chinese and other newly rich nations that need muskrat fur to line coats and footwear.
Specifically, they want muskrat bellies, the felt-like fur that is practically impermeable to moisture. At $10 per pelt—five times what muskrats fetched in the 1990s—pelts were trading at new highs when bidding for last season’s furs ended in June.
But some in the belly trade are casting worried glances at Europe, where fur sales are expected to be soft this winter. That could drag prices down for trappers here, and the current muskrat mania could prove to be a belly flop.
2011 Western States Fur Auction Brings Positive Results
February 20, 2011
The Montana Trappers Association held the Western States Fur Auction in Columbus, Montana this past weekend with extremely positive results. The quantity of fur brought in for sale this year was much greater than that of the past two years, and almost everything sold at or near 100%. Rumor has it that availability of fur in the country is down, leading to high demand. Obviously, more folks elected to bring their furs to the WSFA this year in anticipation of better fur prices.
All fur was brought in before the deadline of noontime Saturday, and over half a dozen fur buyers made their way along the crowded tables in the fairgrounds building, inspecting and evaluating the quality of the hundreds of lots of fur. The sale was done via silent auction and buyers’ bids were due by 5pm on Saturday.
After the bids were tabulated, sheets of paper with individual results were placed on several tables for trappers to examine the prices bid for their furs. Like the others, I made my way through the small crowd to to see how my furs did. All I can say is that I was VERY pleasantly surprised by the numbers. Trappers were smiling all around.
Here’s a quick recap:
Coyotes were a hot selling item. 621 coyotes were offered, and 578 sold, at an average of $44.83. It appears that the early demand for coyotes seen at the NAFA auction has continued.
Bobcats sold at 100% of the 132 offered, at an average of $572.21. Looks like cat prices are back to the high levels of a couple years ago.
Muskrat averaged $5.28, which isn’t bad for western ‘rats. Only a couple hundred were offered, and some appeared to be freezer ‘rats. Mine were fresh and averaged over $6.25.
Raccoon (231 offered) averaged $18.92.
Marten averaged $35.85. Some folks commented that this was a little lower than they’d received at NAFA.
Beaver averaged $14.41. This item is still lagging. Not many were offered, as I suspect people trapped very few beaver for fur this year. I put a couple of large beaver in the sale that averaged $22.50.
Here are the rest of the averages:
Badger – $25.50
Red Fox – $31.22
Mink – $11.90
Otter – $46.63
Skunk – $7.80
Ermine – $2.31
Porcupine guard hair – $22.82
Beaver castor – $44.23
What’s New on the Anti-Fur Front
February 5, 2011
As trappers, we should take the occasional time out to catch up on what’s happening in the fur industry. Sure, the majority of trappers may not be in it for the money, but the reality is that without a market to sell our fur, it would be very difficult to keep trapping. This is evidenced by the fact that lower fur prices lead to decreased trapping pressure on certain species. And as we’re well aware, this often leads to overpopulation and damage problems from these species.
Fur prices are important to trappers. They are important to me and other trappers I talk to. They are also important to the people who visit TrappingToday.com. The site has been getting a lot of traffic lately, and the majority of the people who get here from search engines like Google are seeking info on fur prices. It just goes to show that people want to know what’s going on with the fur market.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to give animal rights activists too much credit for influencing fur prices (at least not yet), they sure can make waves in the fur industry. Let’s take a quick look at some current events that may or may not impact the market for fur.
Truth in Fur Labeling Act
This bill, passed by the U.S. Legislature in 2010, will go into effect March 2011. It closes a so-called loophole that did not require fur clothing items sold in small quantities or at low prices to be labeled. For instance, a coat with a coyote-trimmed hood previously did not have to be labeled as containing coyote fur, but now it does. This law seems like an attempt by the anti’s to reduce fur sales to people by making sure they know what they are buying contains real animal fur. Personally, I think it will backfire on them. I think lots of folks would actually prefer to wear real fur, and won’t be deterred from buying a coat once they know it contains fur. Plus, it will provide an educational opportunity for folks who don’t know the importance that real fur plays in the garment trim trade.
Israeli Fur Ban
Sometime in early 2011, officials in Israel will vote on a proposal to ban all forms of fur and the fur trade in the entire country. This seems like a goofy stance for a free country like Israel to have, but one must assume that the majority of people in the country have been disconnected from the use of fur for a long time. The bill has been supported by celebrity activists like Pamela Anderson and Paul McCartney, who are using their fame to push the anti-fur agenda. The Canadian fur industry has urged Israel to reconsider. I have a hunch that the bill will pass. Israel doesn’t play a big role in the world fur market, so if passed, it shouldn’t have a direct impact on demand. The more important concern I see is the potential for a ripple effect that would encourage similar bans in other countries.
Stores That Have Stopped Selling Fur
Limited Brands, Wet Seal, Jones Apparel Group, Forever 21 and Papaya are all stores that have discontinued the sale of garments that contain fur. Luckily for the fur industry, these are not really big retail players. Supporters of trapping, the fur industry, and sound wildlife management can make a difference by boycotting these stores and purchasing items from stores that support the fur industry. Writing letters of support to companies that sell real fur garments can help as well. Many retailers have stopped selling real fur simply due to pressure from the Humane Society of the United States and PETA. They are afraid of bad publicity. If they knew they had support from a large number of Americans, they’d be more likely to stand up to these groups.
West Hollywood Fur Ban
This one seems like kind of a joke. Activists and officials in ultra-liberal West Hollywood want to make it the first city in the U.S. to completely ban the fur trade. The ban probably wouldn’t mean much – not many people sell or wear fur in the area. If passed, it would only further solidify the city’s distance from reality. Some folks are already starting to question the constitutionality of such a law.
Petition to Ban Fur in the EU
The change.org petition to ban fur in the European Union certainly isn’t the first one, and I can say with confidence that this will go nowhere. While fur trapping isn’t as high-profile in Europe as it is in North America, the area dominates the ranched fur industry with its many fur farms.
Targeted Celebrities that Wear Fur
Animal rights groups continue to bash celebrities in the U.S. who choose to wear fur. Unfortunately for them, however, the popularity of fur seems to be really growing. Supporters of fur can thank bold celebrities that aren’t afraid to wear fur. These include Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aretha Franklin, Jessica Simpson, Goldie Hawn and daughter Kate Hudson, and yes, many in the not my favorite hip/hop-rap industry like Kanye West.
So there’s a recap on what’s been going on lately in the anti fur industry. As trappers, we should keep an eye on current events that may have an impact on our trade, no matter how indirect they may be. If you get the chance, take a minute to show your support for the fur industry that makes our way of living possible, and helps support regulated wildlife management throughout the developed world.