Updated Wild Fur Forecast
Since our September 28, 2010 Forecast, our Wild Fur price expectations have improved remarkably. Our guarded optimism has changed to solid optimism due to improved early retail sales in the major markets of the Far East. There is no doubt that the Northern Lights campaign started by NAFA’s Diane Benedetti has been of tremendous help and has generated significant interest from our Chinese customers, which has resulted in our selling large quantities of Wild Fur during the month of November.
It is NAFA’s policy to Account Sale where warranted, especially before our year end, which is October 31. For the first time in recent memory, NAFA has sent out Account Sales to our producers in both the months of October and November. We are delighted in the recent sales that we have made, especially over the last eight weeks. As your auction company, we are pleased to report that all major articles are essentially sold out, but more importantly to you the producer, is we have paid you promptly for these sales, as should be expected from your auction company.
The economy in China is still very strong, growing at an annual rate of 10 %. We remain hopeful that we will continue to see improvement in Russia and the trimming business in North America is also doing very well.
Excellent demand continues from China for Muskrat. We are expecting prices to be stronger than last year, as inventories are extremely low for this article, and we are totally sold out. Most of the Muskrat skins are used for liners, but many of the fashion designers are also looking at using it in vests and short jackets.
The trimming trade continues to do very well and once again bigger sizes and heavier sections will have excellent value. Better colours—which are in strong demand—will continue to receive premiums, however we do expect that off-colours will be sold much more easily and at higher prices than last year. Raccoons, in general, should do very well.
The North American trim trade has been a major supporter of our heavy and semi heavy Coyotes as well good Eastern sections. The inventory of trimming type Coyotes is currently very low, while demand continues to strengthen. Consequently, we expect prices to be substantially higher than last year. Inferior qualities and low grades will continue to be very difficult to sell.
We have seen a slight improvement in the Beaver market and higher prices will be paid, but we believe for most trappers, it will not be sufficient to make this article attractively priced. We continue to work with Chinese dressing factories on how to improve the quality of dressing, especially in plucking and shearing.
This product will continue to sell well at very acceptable levels. We are currently sold out and have open orders at May 2010 levels.
This article continues to sell 100 %, mostly to China, with good support from Greece for Russia. Otter has a good upside and on a square inch basis, continues to be good value for the manufacturer.
Obviously with the higher ranch mink prices, Wild Mink will see further price increases over last year. Our February auction continues to be the most attractive sale for this article.
Here again our trimming business will be a strong supporter for all heavier and semi heavy sections. However, the flatter sections of Red Foxes are now being used for linings in China.
We are now completely sold out of Grey Fox. The Grey Fox, which is primarily a Russian article, has now found new interest in China. The Northern Lights campaign and a number of its designers have now started to use this article. With this new demand we can expect Grey Fox to have excellent clearances and substantially higher prices.
We are now 100 % sold out of Sable. Our last Private Treaty sale consisted of heavy and semi heavy sections and with paler, off colours. We expect continued premiums for darker coloured Sable, which are primarily used natural, but can take a special process which will make the skins slightly darker. Paler colours as well as off colours ( mostly orange ) are not suitable for this process and must be bleached. We expect that we will continue to see significant price differentials between the darker and paler colours. However, overall demand will be excellent for this luxury article that can expect to receive higher prices.
This is another luxury article where the females are used for garments and the males are used for trim. We are receiving positive news from important retailers in regard to the sale of Fisher. Once again we are expecting higher prices.
Lynx and Lynx Cats
The higher-end trim as well as garment sales appear to be doing very well. These two articles are very much in demand in Russia, but recently we have seen increased interest from China as well as Korea. We expect prices to be higher for all sections and strong premiums to be paid for the better belly colours.