North American Fur Auctions held their first sale of the year last week, and the news couldn’t be better for trappers and predator hunters. NAFA reports record attendance, some new record prices and 100-percent clearances on some species.
Here is the press release NAFA issued following the sale:
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 raccoons 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 gray 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.