Let’s start with the good news! Coyote trim is still very much in fashion. Further, western Lynx Cats with clear bellies have also sold exceptionally well in retail.
We cannot stress enough that Coyote and clear belly Lynx Cats are still in excellent demand, to the point where there isn’t enough supply to cover the demand. In addition, we are seeing greater interest from the Italians in better end Canadian Lynx and Grey Fox for trimming.
NAFA’s new CEO, Doug Lawson, and Senior Vice President of Marketing, Rob Cahill, have just returned from another trip to China. Unlike North America, they report that China has experienced a warm start to the winter. Due to the mild weather, we are seeing a weakening market from which many retail stores are finding it difficult to move inventory. This has been affecting the overall demand for ranch mink, and as a result it has directly impacted the demand on commercial Wild Fur articles.
Still, with a little hustle, we were able to sell all of NAFA’s remaining Muskrat inventory, while seeing increased interest in large size and bigger Raccoon. Small sizes, early caught blue pelted and damaged Raccoon are either unsaleable or must be heavily discounted in order to sell. We believe the Raccoon market will continue to be selective, with most interest in the larger sized, heavier Western sections used for trimming.
The current market in Korea is similar to last year, which turned out to be one of their better retail seasons. Inventory is moving at a steady pace at modestly reduced levels, despite the weather being similar to China. With this market being stable, we expect Korea will again be in a strong position to support our larger sized Sable collection and possibly acquire other high end wild fur varieties for trim.
In contrast, Russia continues to struggle, causing challenges to the Italian and Greek garment producers. They are expecting another difficult selling season due to weak economic performance, creating reduced consumer confidence and spending.
In spite of these market issues, NAFA has recently experienced very active sales in Private Treaty and given the quantity of Muskrats and Raccoon that we have just sold, we are pleased to announce that NAFA will be running an account sale at the beginning of the New Year, with a Prompt Date of January 9, 2019. Please visit our website and log in to your account to see what you have sold.
As noted above, there has been an increase in the popularity of using Muskrats as liners which resulted in an astounding 100% clearance of all fresh Muskrats shipped last season. Increased interest in Raccoon pushed our year-to-date clearances of 2018 goods to 95%. China also continues to show strong interest in Fisher, particularly females. While Beaver should sell at levels similar to last year, Castor should continue to strengthen in price due to limited supply and excellent demand.
As we enter this new fur season, there will be many challenges to face in a currently uncertain fur market. All this being said, we are receiving more and more inquiries from China and fashion brands based on our continued wild fur promotion and the initiation of our certification and traceability program. Ultimately, we believe this will result in NAFA getting the highest prices and clearances for your wild fur.
We will keep you updated as the season goes on and we get closer to our opening sale in February 2019.
We would take this opportunity to thank you for your loyal support and wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019.