This is an excerpt from Trapper & Predator Caller’s October 2014 Fur Market Report.
By Serge Lariviére
Summer marks a lull in the fur business, and nothing has really changed, at least nothing for the better. Markets still struggle and there are no rumors of price increases anywhere, so as we have discussed before, for this coming fur season, being realistic is the same as being pessimistic.
The only glimmers of sun on our trade shine on only two items: muskrats and Western coyotes. Koreans still love muskrats and have found ways to use the back and flanks. And there is a strong trim trade for Western coyotes. These two species should sell at levels that will make trappers happy. For the rest, no new information or trends have emerged, so it will likely be on par or slightly below the prices at the last few major fur sales.
The situation is tough on trappers, who have rapidly grown accustomed to record-high prices and have forgotten that for years “normal” price levels were much lower than they are now. But the trade is equally harsh on fur buyers, auction houses, mink ranchers, tanneries, manufacturers and retailers. When prices dip, everyone in the trade is impacted, and everyone needs to be creative in order to float their business until the prices pick up again. For many, such times are when new innovations are developed. It is a necessity to find ways to reduce expenses.
Serge Lariviére, a Trapper & Predator Caller field editor, is a wildlife biologist in Quebec, Canada. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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