It appears that the fur market is not out of the woods yet. After a surprising spring recovery of fur prices that had been severely depressed for some time, many trappers had high expectations for the May fur sale. Unfortunately, the high March prices were not repeated in May.
Overall, prices weren’t terrible, but did not continue the uptrend started in March. Almost all items sold at lower levels than in March, with only muskrat, wild mink and lynx selling 100% of the quantity offered.
Here’s NAFA’s report:
Report on May Wild Fur Sale
Wild Fur met with selective demand and prices declined from March levels on the opening day of the
NAFA Wild Fur sale.
The sale began Wednesday with a large offering of Beaver of which 80% of the sundry owner sold at generally lower levels than March. Otters sold 92% while Muskrat and Wild Mink sold 100%, again at lower levels than March. China and Hong Kong dominated the sale.
Sables and Fishers were disappointing in both percentage of sale and price levels. Sables sold 62% with better qualities, large sizes withdrawn, while Fishers sold 35%.
Raccoons sold 75%, primarily to Hong Kong/China. Brown colours were mostly withdrawn, while better colours sold 100%, at easier levels than March.
Day two of the sale had a more positive result with Lynx Cats selling 85% of the sundry owners under very strong competition, with Greece the major buyer. Lynx sold 100% at newly established levels to Russia and Greece.
Coyotes sold 70% with heavy Coyotes for trimming selling 95% under strong competition. Flatter commercial goods were mostly withdrawn.
Red Fox sold 75% with good interest in the heavier types.
Here are a few of the approximate overall averages:
Beaver: $7-15, Otter: $19-45, Muskrat: $2.66-7.47, Mink: $13, Marten: $21-49, Fisher: $56, Raccoon: $3-15, Lynx: $25-88, Bobcat: $27-273, Coyote: $4-32, Red Fox: $17, Badger: $22.
For more specific averages based on area and size, and other species averages, click here to see the full NAFA Report.
These results indicate that the fur market may remain in a depressed state for some time, particularly as European economic concerns keep fur buyers from acting too enthusiastically. Many of the transactions at the NAFA sale took place via private treaty after not meeting the minimum prices set at the auction, indicating low overall demand.
Still, prices for many items are much better than what we were seeing last fall. The fur market will recover, the only question is how long it will take.