North American Fur Auctions just completed its first major fur auction, and results confirmed our predictions of a very poor market. Lack of buyer demand from China and Russia made it difficult for most items to sell at all.
NAFA sets minimums for most of its fur at auction in order to protect buyers from dirt cheap prices. If no bidders are interested in the fur at the minimum prices, NAFA ‘buys them back’, meaning the fur goes back in storage for either private treaty sale or a future auction.
The only items that sold at 100% were red fox and the better western coyotes, which are used in the trim market. The market for coyotes looks like it will range widely depending on quality, averaging $30-80.
Red fox are averaging $10-15.
Marten sold pretty well, with a market dominated by Korean buyers. Marten averaged around $50, but not all goods sold.
The rest of the fur items, which make up the bulk of the market, were bought back by NAFA due to lack of buyer demand. Only the better 20% of muskrat sold, with an average of $4.
Just a small percentage of the top western bobcats sold for around $225.
22% of raccoons sold at around $11.50.
31% of beaver sold at around $11.
Unfortunately, when only a small percentage of fur sells for a particular species, they usually represent the better furs, meaning the real average may be much lower.
The majority of the fur that didn’t sell will probably end up in NAFA’s May auction, where everyone is hoping for a market recovery. If the fur is bought back at that auction, it may end up sitting in storage for a long time. Unfortunately, holding back all of this fur may be delaying a potential market recovery. Increases in prices will result in a lot of fur coming out of storage and entering the market, which may keep prices depressed until demand catches up with supply.
The good news is that selling raw fur at auction or to a buyer is not necessarily your only option. In my new Fur Guide, I highlight alternatives to selling raw fur, which include tanning and selling fur to specialty markets. Click here to learn more about the fur guide, or click the image to try it out.