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.