The market for wild fur continues its slow climb out of a multi-year trough. Powered by the low supply of ranch mink, the weakening of the U.S. Dollar, and increasing demand as countries begin to reopen post-COVID, prices ticked up nicely for some species in Fur Harvesters Auction’s April 2021 online sale. For others, it was more of the same. Here are some highlights:
After some recent weakening, the coyote market has come back strong, at least for now. Nearly all the western coyotes in the offering sold, at an average of more than $98. Easterns brought about half of this, with 89% sold at a $46 average. Demand did not trickle down to the lower end coyotes, though, of which half sold, at an average of around $12.
Muskrat was the other hot item in the sale. Virtually all of the 81,000+ rats sold, at an average of $5.12, the highest average we’ve seen in years. This was a real encouraging sign, and is likely a direct result of the lack of ranch mink on the market. Muskrat is often used as a substitute for ranch mink in making certain items.
Demand wasn’t great for beaver, but some moved. Just over half of the 75,000 beaver sold, at an average of around $14. Beaver castor, on the other hand, continued its hot streak, with averages of around $100/lb, and a range of $90-120, depending on grade.
Those were the bright spots. But moving on down the list reveals a lot of relatively disappointing prices for other species. It’s unclear whether demand hasn’t caught up on certain items just yet, or if the lack of ability for foreign buyers to travel to Canada and physically inspect the goods made the difference. Needless to say, there was a lot of room for improvement.
Wild mink sold at 78% for an average of $5.83.
Otter brought $16.44, with 60% sold.
Most of the marten offering sold, with averages ranging from $30-60 depending on size and grade.
Fisher were very disappointing – half sold for a $16.54 average.
The lower end bobcat pelts saw a surprising jump in price, with Canadian and Central goods selling out at around $100 average. Only 25% of the Western bobcats (which tend to be much higher quality) sold, averaging just under $200.
Only a third of the Canada lynx offering sold, averaging around $67.
More than 100,000 raccoons were offered in the sale, but only 17% sold, averaging $8.37.
Red fox, gray fox, skunk, and the other minor furs sold at similar prices to recent auctions.
All in all, the April 2021 Fur Harvesters online fur auction results were a mixed bag. They showed encouraging results for some species, while the others held their own, but are yet to bounce off their recent lows. Only time, and hopefully an eventual in-person auction, will tell how quickly the recovery in the wild fur market will come.