Fur Trappers Happy Fur Prices Rise 2013 2014

Trappers are happy -- very happy

Fashion driving fur prices to record heights

A trapper with an armload of marten furs at the Thompson Fur Table. (PHOTO BY SHEL ZOLKEWICH)

Since the fur industry was born in Canada more than 350 years ago, fashion and demand have always been the driving factors when it comes to how much trappers receive for their pelts. This season, trappers are smiling.

Canadian furs -- both wild and farmed -- are primarily sold to an international market for garments and trim. North America Fur Auction (NAFA), the largest fur auction house in North America, holds several auctions a year in Toronto. Buyers from China, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Korea, North America and Eastern European countries pack the house and bid on lots of furs.

In Manitoba, trappers get their furs to market in a variety of ways. Sometimes they sell directly to NAFA or other fur auctions. For trappers in the north, the Thompson Fur Table, held every December, provides an opportunity for trappers to get some revenue for early-season furs.

December's event in Thompson was an early indication that prices for wild furs were definitely heading for the record books. The 207 trappers at the event took home a combined $683,559, the highest amount paid out in the past 30 year of this event. To put that in perspective, in 2004, there were over 230 trappers at that fur table. A total of $497,408 changed hands.

NAFA's February sale in Toronto broke all kinds of records. Dave Bewick, general manager of fur operations for NAFA, said a number of factors came together to create a "perfect storm" that resulted in the most successful sale they've seen since the market took a nose dive in the late '80s.

There were more than 700 buyers at the sale -- 470 of them from China. Another 100 buyers came from Russia and Greece while Korea was represented with an additional 50 buyers. Thanks to strong marketing efforts, fur is in fashion in China. That, combined with the coldest winter there in 28 years, resulted in excellent prices for furs.

Fur prices have been on the upswing for several years. A parka company called Canada Goose has become wildly popular recently. Most of these parkas are outfitted with a generous coyote trim and that means prices are on the rise. Fashion, once again, dictates price.

Furs are sold in lots. Top lot is a unique designation that identifies a group of pelts of premium quality. The number of pelts in each top lot depends on the species. A top lot of coyote might include 12 pelts while a top lot of muskrat would have more than 100 pelts. Top lots sell for big money. Trappers who are lucky enough to have one of their pelts in a top lot can expect a cheque for three, four, five or even 10 times more than the price of an average pelt in the same species.

Here are some of the highlights from the NAFA auction in Toronto in February.


Average: $157.67

Top Lot: $350.00

Increase over 2012: 50 to 70 per cent

Pelts Sold: 12,036


Average: $144.29

Top Lot: $650.00

Increase over 2012: 55 to 60 per cent

Pets Sold: 92,336


Average: $31.03

Top Lot: $400.00

Pelts Sold: 160,250


Average: $194.44

Top Lot: $525.00

Increase over 2012: 40 per cent

Pelts Sold: 5,223


Average: $93.98

Top Lot: $1,400.00

Pelts Sold: 62,649

Red Fox

Average: $65.78

Top Lot: $340.00

Pelts Sold: 35,414


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US mink pelt prices skyrocket demand in China

US mink pelt prices skyrocket with demand in China

A decade ago, fur rancher Bob Zimbal had about 34,000 mink at his three southeastern Wisconsin farms. He was in survival mode, struggling to compete with farmers producing cheaper pelts overseas. Then the recession hit and prices tumbled again.

But Zimbal came through the hard times and prospered. These days he's got 54,000 breeding females, 26 miles worth of cages and an on-site feed plant that towers over the snow-covered fields along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

His business is no longer about serving the rich and famous in Hollywood and New York. Now the main market is China, where demand for higher quality furs among the newly wealthy has helped push pelt prices to record levels and shielded U.S. farmers from the sluggish economy. Animal rights activists, who have worked to make fur unfashionable in the U.S., are turning their attention to Asia, but thus far, American fur farmers are reaping greater profits.

"The international market has protected U.S. producers," Zimbal said. "Right now, in China, their consumption is growing faster than the supply. ... They're driving the market right now."

The U.S. fur industry has been a volatile one over the past 15 years. Mink pelt prices sank to about $25 each in 1998 and hovered around $35 over the next few years as farmers in other countries found cheaper ways to produce fur.

Dozens of American fur farms went out of business. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 440 farms were operating in the United States in 1998; by 2005, there were 275. In 2011, the year for which the latest statistics are available, there were 268. Of the 3.1 million pelts they produced, a third came from Wisconsin farms.

Zimbal, a third-generation mink farmer, scrimped through the hard times. Some workers quit for better-paying jobs after he couldn't afford raises, and members of his family took over their chores, feeding the mink and cleaning cages. Zimbal nursed old equipment instead of replacing it, and when he had to swap something out, he bought used instead of new.

"We bought used pick-up trucks and used tractors," he said. "You've got to lean down as much as you can. We did what we had to do to survive."

Prices rebounded in 2006 and 2007, but then the recession struck. Americans struggling to hold on to their jobs and homes stopped shopping for furs. U.S. retail prices hit a 10-year low in 2009.

Enter China. The nation has become the largest fur producer and processor in the world. Chinese consumers flush with cash bought more than half of the fur coats sold globally in 2010, according to the China Leather Industry Association. Chinese fur retail sales for 2012 haven't been officially tallied yet, but the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce predicts they could top $6 billion.

The country's homegrown furs, however, have been marked by low quality resulting from in-breeding, high feed costs and ensuing poor nutrition, according to a 2010 report from the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Survey.

As a result, Chinese manufacturers have turned to foreign farmers for high-quality pelts. China imported nearly $126 million worth of U.S. mink pelts last year, making it the second most lucrative mink export market for American fur farmers behind South Korea, according to FAS. The North American Fur Auction, which touts itself as the largest fur wholesale auction house in North America, said nearly three quarters of the 700-plus buyers who attended its Toronto auction in February were Chinese.

"The fur coat happens to be one of the trappings of success. ... People in the Far East and Europe see American TV and see us wearing it, they all want to wear it," said Michael Whelan, executive director of Fur Commission USA.

Zhang Yiren, a 25-year-old medical magazine employee, tried on a fur coat in a Shanghai shopping mall recently with her parents.

"I have had two fur coats and bought them for myself," she said. "The angora one cost me 1,600 yuan ($250), and I love the style. It is beautiful and keeps me warm."

Shoppers like Zhang have helped send U.S. wholesale prices surging; mink pelts averaged a record $94 in 2011, up from $41 in 2008, according to the USDA.

The boom has attracted the attention of animal rights activists. Most opposition to fur sales in China has been led by foreign groups, but homegrown activism is growing and some Chinese celebrities have publicly rejected fur, including Hong Huang, a magazine publisher and commentator, TV star Sun Li and talk show host Li Jing.

"Every life on earth is precious _ not only human beings but animals too. So I hope people could say no to fur," said Sun in a video posted on the popular Sina Web portal by the animal rights group PETA. "It's really not that beautiful when you sacrifice others' lives for your beautiful look."

But the anti-fur efforts haven't had much effect thus far. Industry groups predict robust growth in China, perhaps by as much as 14 percent per year, in the near future.

That bodes well for U.S. fur farmers like Zimbal.

"In 2009, when the whole world economy was really poor, we still had a profitable year," Zimbal said. "That's when it became clear that China was for real . . . any business that is exporting into China is doing very well

Read more: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/mar/21/us-food-and-farm-mink/#ixzz2OnTmVzPV


Marc Kaufman Furs NYC NY 10001 212 563 3877 


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China's Wealthy Want Luxury Minks Other Furs Long Frowned Upon In Western C

China's Wealthy Want The Luxury Minks And Other Furs Long Frowned Upon In Western Culture

By | March 21 2013 12:42 PM

U.S. fur farms are rebounding after struggling for the past 15 years but not because of sales in the U.S. New wealth in China is creating significant rises in demand for high-quality furs and sending pelt prices through the roof.

Fur Prices Rise Again

Fur Prices On The Rise Again.....

With the price of fur pelts rising, fur designers will have to get more creative. That traditional mink coat will soon disappear since style will sell the fur over quality.

In The United States, the consumer comes into a fur store with a certain budget in hand. In order to meet this budget, furriers need to get more creative and have the product highly styled in order to sell the product, combining the product with some exotic leather, hints of silver fox, some chinchilla trim or some other interesting details will give the customer a bit of excitement overlooking the quality of the fur.

The only way a furrier can survive with this much increase is to sell his existing furs at a lower price level than market value, but this is only short term, since the replacment furs will be that much higher.

Novelty furs will become a staple, the fine quality classic mink coat may not have the ability to survive with these drastic price increases.

Marc Kaufman Furs NYC 

212 563 3877


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Filed under: classic mink coat, classic mink coats, fur prices, mink prices


Mink Prices Continue to Rise 2013 2014

Mink prices continue to increase at Saga Furs December auction

12/19/2012| 01:54pm US/Eastern

Sales of mink concluded in the morning with the selling of Saga Scanglow® male mink skins and East European mink. The collection of over 47,000 Saga Scanglow® males was 100 per cent sold at firm prices compared with recent international price levels. A record number of 600 buyers attended the auction.

A large collection of 298,000 East European mink was all sold at very high price levels. The main buyer was Hong Kong/China, with good support from all markets.

A collection of 58,000 Saga® Blue Frost Fox skins was 92 per cent sold at 5-per-cent-easier prices compared with the September auction. The main buying markets was Russia, balance well spread. Saga® Silver Fox skins were 100 per cent sold at 20 per cent higher prices compared with the


September auction. A small collection of mutation fox skins was sold at very strong price levels, mainly to Hong Kong/China and the European

Period : Day 

Duration : Auto.

fashion industry.

The certified collection of 28,000 Saga® Finnraccoon skins was 100 per cent sold at 40 per cent higher price levels compared with the September auction. Hong Kong/China and Italy were the main buyers.

The Saga® Lumi Royal Top Lot of Certified Finnraccoon was bought by Tomaso Guida for Guida Lab, Italy, for 430 euros.

The auction will conclude on Thursday with the selling of 223,000 Saga® Blue fox and a small collection of Blue Shadow fox.


Marc Kaufman Furs NYC 

NY 10001 212 563 3877


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Saga Furs Top Lots Go To Hong Kong, China and Italy

Saga Furs Oyj : Top Lots go to Hong Kong, China and Italy

12/21/2012| 06:37am US/Eastern

Amid flurries of up-bidding, three buyers walked away from Saga Furs December auction with Top Lots of Saga® Lumi Royal Mink, Fox and Finnraccoon.

Mink goes to Hong Kong

The Top Lot of 40 white Saga® Lumi Royal female mink pelts was purchased by the Hong Kong-based Kam Lam K.C. Enterprises (International Co. Ltd). The hammer price was 122 euros.

Mr. Lam made the purchase for himself and plans to make sample garments for next year. "I haven't yet decided on a market for the garments that will be made. First I will make the samples so potential buyers can see the quality, and then determine the appropriate market," he says.

Finnraccoon goes to Italy

Tommaso Guida of the fur workshop Guida Lab in Naples purchased the SagaÒ Lumi Royal Top Lot of six Certified Finnraccoon pelts at a price of 430 euros. 

"My two brothers and I are the third generation in the fur business, mainly brokering and wholesale in the past, but we founded Guida Lab a few years ago to get into the production end," says Mr. Guida. He has rough plans for the Top Lot, and promises whatever comes will be exciting.

Blue Fox goes to China

The Top Lot of six Saga® Lumi Royal Blue Fox pelts went to David Tan from the Morisco Denmark A/S company at a hammer price of 560 euros. He made the purchase for Beijing Sagend Fashion Clothing Corporation.

Marc Kaufman Furs NYC 

NY 10001 212 563 3877


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Fur Prices Continue to Rise on Strong Global Demand 2013-2014

Fur Prices Continue to Rise on Strong Global Demand 2013-2014

The pricing on fur is going out of control. Fur prices have increased already 15% since December 1st on mink and doubled in price on raccoon skins. The strong global demand for fur, the cold weather in  Europe and the companies buying fur pelts for speculation will add a sharper increase this fur selling season.

The prediction of male mink skins hitting $200 looks very possible within the next few months. A mink stroller that will use 20 mink skins will cost $5000 before manufacturing and profit.

The direction that the fur pricing is heading, only the top 1% will be able to afford. With such strong pricing, how much resistance will the public give? This remains to be seen, but there are fur garments in stock globally that was purchased before the increases. These already manufactured furs will be able to help the customers absorb some of the shock of the new fur price increase.

Marc Kaufman Furs NYC 

NY 10001 212 563 3877


Follow us on Twitter! @marckaufmanfurs

E-mail: kaufmanfurs@aol.com