Stronger fur auction activity is positive sign for global luxury sector

23 July of 2015 by

The fur trade, traditionally a barometer for the global luxury sector, has seen strong uplifts at the recent auctions held in North America, Europe and Russia. The March/April fur auctions saw a combined 19,767,955 pieces of fur (pelts) being offered to the market, including more than 16.7 million mink and more than 980,000 fox.

Figures from the International Fur Federation (IFF) have shown that annually an average of 87.2 million mink pelts have been produced globally in the 2013-2014 season with a total value of €3.7bn* and 7.78m fox pelts with a value of more than €880m*.

Pelts are sold at key times of the year at the six major auction houses across Europe and North America and are monitored by their trade body, the International Fur Federation (IFF). Both regions reported a strengthening market:


There were some big volume auctions in the US and Canada in March, with 5.3 million ranched mink pelts on offer. The majority of types cleared 100%, with even the weakest being over 79%. It represents a hunger from the market now that the high stocks from last year have been whittled down

There was also a lot of activity in more niche wild fur types on offer from hunters and trappers in the region. Great business was done in sable, with lynx, coyote, muskrat and raccoon also bringing in high sales.


One auction house in Europe set a new record in March by making the world’s largest offering of mink ever offered in one auction. A total of eight million skins were sold 100% under strong competition, with premiums being paid on unique types as well as top quality skins.

Finnish fox pelts saw continuing recovery from the big price drops of early 2014, with strong clearances across the board. The single biggest offering was 587,977 Blue Fox at an average price of €145.17 per pelt, 4% up on the average from the previous year. It highlights the importance of fashion in dictating which fur types power the market.


Wild sable was another big seller in Russia in March. Prices were up across the board from the January auctions (up 2.3% for sable to an average selling price of $118.66 per pelt).

Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation, noted: “Fur is the barometer for the luxury market and often the broader global economy – and the auction houses are reporting sales that show things are definitely on the up.

“In recent years buyers from China – particularly Beijing and Shanghai – have been the main drivers for luxury attire, but there’s been something of a shift to the 2nd nd 3rd tier cities which has maintained a strong market.

“Although the Rouble has been losing value there is are signs of recovery in sight: reportedly flights out of Moscow are now filling up, indicating that people again have money to spend on travel and other luxuries.


North America had a strong Winter due to economic recovery and especially cold conditions. Parts of Europe in particular London reported sales up 20%.

“Overall, a stronger fur auction market is good news for the global economic outlook.”


  • Estimated value derived by multiplying annual production by average price per pelt


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