Several of our senior staff members travelled to China during the month of October. Oscar Carbonell was there for the first two weeks, and Rob Cahill was there in the later part of the month. Rob will return to China again this week and will write a separate market report upon his return.
In general, the market is nervous and very negative because of the September ranched mink sales in Copenhagen and Helsinki. It is very unfortunate, but skin dealers and manufacturers will be forced to deal with this major price decline.
For us in the wild fur business, the over-production of ranch-raised mink will also have a negative effect on several wild fur articles. Reports from Russia are showing no improvement as both the price of oil and economic instability continues to affect consumer spending.
For next season however, there will be articles that will do exceptionally well, such as coyote and female fisher. Retail for down-feather coats with coyote trim has begun, and all of our information indicates excellent sales. From recent meetings with the largest trimming companies in the world, it is encouraging to hear that demand for all better quality Western coyotes remains strong and prices will reflect this excellent demand. Female fisher and all silky small males should continue to see good demand as top-end retailers in China are telling us that consumers are finding mink garments with fisher trim very attractive. Retail has only just started, but the outlook is good for these two articles.
Wild mink and muskrats are subject to the commercial mink market and will face downward pressure. Hopefully Korea will find that the muskrat bellies remain one of the better liners for men’s coats and jackets, and the fashion industry can use the backs for accessories-
Without Russia, raccoon will struggle. There is still unsold inventory in raw and dressed skins as well as in garments. NAFA’s promotional team has done some very good work with leading fashion houses in Europe, which will hopefully result in raccoons becoming a major player on the runways.
Larger sizes, better quality marten/sable skins should continue to have good demand. Korean retailers should be more active on this prestigious article now that the Korean government has dropped the luxury tax on nearly all fur garments. We will be including marten/sable in our January offering.
Overall the market will be difficult and early caught skins as well as inferior qualities will not be saleable in the upcoming season. It is important that we harvest efficiently and conservatively, and go after prime, good quality fur.
Based on early reports, it appears that it will be difficult to receive sufficient quantities to offer all fresh species for our late January/early February sale. We are certain, however, to offer fresh muskrat, coyote and marten/sable. Any previously lotted, unsold fur will also be available for sale.
source : www.nafa.ca
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