International Fur buyers flock to MIFUR
The 17th annual Mifur exhibition opened it doors on March 4, 2012, in Milan, Italy just four days after the Hong Kong International Fur Fair. The close proximity of dates posed little problem for the 203 exhibitors who occupied three pavilions in the Fiera Milano City complex.
Attendance eased slightly from the previous year. Italian buyers were down by 12% but foreign buyers grew in number. Visitors from Russia and other former Soviet Union countries registered the largest gain with double-digit percentage growth. Officials put the total number of visitors at 14,566 and noted that the number of registered buyers from Asian countries and some European countries also showed slight increases.
Sales were said to be good, particularly at the high fashion and quality end of the market. This was expected as most buyers come to Mifur in search of new trends and the fine quality craftsmanship that Italians are renowned for. Garment manufacturers at the more commercial level did not fare so well. At the new price levels, buyers wanted top quality furs.
Most pelt dealers and accessory suppliers were satisfied with the results of this 2012 exhibition. North American mink was in strong demand as were many of the NAFA Northern wild furs. This was a direct result of the high volume of sales at the Hong Kong fair and the anticipation of a further price increase at upcoming auctions.
Overall, it appears that in spite of the mild or late winter in most retail fur markets and economic problems in many, fur remains a fashion must for the upcoming season. Price will remain a concern at wholesale and retail levels but the trade remains optimistic as the major markets of Russia, China and Korea continue with their demand for fur.