Fur Auction Houses Dispute Value Of January Sales

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 12:51



One of Canada’s major wild fur auction houses is cancelling a planned sale for January, while the other is going ahead — and both say their strategy will benefit trappers.


North American Fur Auctions had been planning to hold its latest “offering” on Jan. 11, but this past week, the company announced that the furs sent in by trappers for this sale will now be held until NAFA’s next auction in March, unless private buyers purchase them earlier.


Dave Bewick, NAFA’s vice-president of Canadian wild fur operations, says his company realized that they did not have a large enough assortment of fur to “attract the buying community”.


Bewick says he realizes the decision means that trappers will now have to wait until April to get paid, but he’s hoping NAFA’s interest-free cash advance will help — and he thinks trappers will benefit in the long run.


“I think (it) would be encouraging for the trappers, to least know that they’re going to get more money in March, rather than a cheaper price in January,” he says.


However, NAFA’s main competitor isn’t so sure.


Howard Noseworthy, director of planning and development with Fur Harvesters Auctions Inc., says his company will go ahead with their sale on Jan. 9, for the sake of both buyers and trappers.


“Some of the fur buyers had requested that we wait (on holding a planned December sale) until January, so that our sale and our competitor’s would be back-to-back, and they would be able to travel to both easily. Once our competitor cancelled their sale, we decided to press ahead with ours. I mean, trappers need money in their pockets also, and they don’t get paid until the fur is sold. So we’re proceeding on behalf of the trappers,” Noseworthy says.


He says he sees the prices for wild fur rebounding — as a follow-up to increassed demand and higher prices for ranched fur — and he doesn’t want trappers to miss out.