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 Post subject: NAFA Email
PostPosted: 02 Jan 2017, 11:26 
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Joined: 12 Sep 2010, 11:36
Posts: 6632
Location: Windber, PA
Those of you who have a NAFA Account probably got this email last week or so. But, for those of you who don't, here is what they had to say about the upcoming fur selling season.

Wild Fur Update – December 2016
December 22, 2016
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Please note: Our next Wild Fur Update will be published on Friday, January 27, 2017
Major retail markets continue to be optimistic. There are 4 or 5 weeks left in China before
Chinese New Year begins on January 28, 2017. In Russia, their orthodox Christmas falls on
January 7, 2017. Compared to last year, both China and Russia are reporting improved
sales. Lower garment prices are obviously helping the retailers. In China, the North East
has seen normal temperatures. Real retail figures will not be available until after Chinese
New Year, but the mood continues to be cautiously optimistic. Our Russian agent is
reporting that the top end of the luxury business is holding its own and that Western Lynx
Cats with better colored bellies are being used in garments and as trim on Black NAFA mink
coats. These items have done well so far and they are expected to continue to sell well
throughout the remainder of the retail season, resulting in considerable premiums being
paid again for these types of Lynx Cats. The problem in Russia appears to be in the
intermediate priced garments which traditionally were sold to the middle class, who have
lost a lot of their purchasing power over the last couple of years. However, with higher oil
prices and the potential of improved relations with the United States, we are hopeful that
we will see a return of the Russian fur consumer’s buying power. This may not happen in
the 2017 retail season, but could very well happen in 2018.
So far, reports from all major markets are that Western Coyotes and North American Sable
are also doing well. Sable could well see a significant increase by NAFA’s May Sale; already
the first sale of Russian sable this month in St. Petersburg saw prices rise by 25% to 30%
over last year’s levels, where many feel this item was under-priced. In China, Muskrat
plates have sold well and most buyer/manufacturers are expecting to pay substantially
more than last year’s depressed prices. Oscar Carbonell, NAFA’s International Sales
Manager, just returned from China - his third trip there in the last several months. Oscar
reports that right now, the most important buyers of Muskrat believe they will have to pay
40 to 50% more than last year. According to our field reports, however, Muskrat
production will be severely limited due to last year’s low prices pointing to more upside
pressure, due to supply and demand. Better Red Fox and Grey Fox are in the hands of the
fashion houses and will be on the runways in 2017. So far, the fashion houses are telling us
that these two articles are in fashion and they believe they will have very good sales results,
which should show up later in the year in the auction room. Again, wild fur manufacturers
are telling us that the timing of our sales is of real help to them. We know that for the
trappers, selling late is not what they would like and traditionally our February sale has
always been one of the best sales for wild fur, however, we have just come out of one of the
worst years in the industry and the trade needs time to recover. From a purely financial
point of view, selling later is the best option this year.
In the ranch mink business, the big drop in China’s mink production has resulted in sharply
improved prices for commercial mink. Last year at this time a large percentage of that mink
remained unsold – this year the unsold mink from last year as well as the fresh crop has all
been sold – a major improvement. There are also reports that Russian ranched mink have
been sold this year to Chinese buyers at prices higher than the auction prices of September
2016. In addition, there have also been reports that cheaper commercial mink have been
selling at an increase of 40-50%. These increased prices for ranched product will greatly
help articles like Raccoon and Otter. Otter, which is quite often sheared and made into
garments, can easily compete with other fur products. Raccoon needs improved prices for
other products so that it can find its own price point.
We are continuing to work with fashion houses worldwide to make sure that wild fur is on
the runways. We cannot afford to stop promoting at this critical time. NAFA is very busy
out in all the markets, and Rob Cahill will provide an update of these activities in the New
Year. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we expect to see the market begin to recover
later in the 2017 season.
In February, we will be offering fresh Coyotes, which are in very strong demand as the
trimming market continues to be active, as well as larger size North American Sables and
Western Lynx Cats.
We are entering the 2017 selling season with zero inventory from trappers and hunters – a
clean sheet so to speak, and we trust that in 2017 we will see improvements for most
articles that were severely underpriced last year.
Again, we would like to remind you of the difficulties in market prices for inferior
skins. However, we also understand that in the Province of Ontario, in order to keep their
trapping line, trappers have to produce a quota of beaver.
Wishing you and your families all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Herman Jansen
Managing Director


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