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Market review

Soft gold

Furs is worn everywhere. In hot countries it is a luxury and prestige product and in cold ones it is also an item of daily necessity. That"s why, inspite of the protests of the "greens" and the achievements of the textile and chemical industries, furs were worn, are worn, and will be worn. The unique thing about this product is that up to 95% of it is being sold at auctions. The high level of organization in this trade makes fur a very attractive product for outside investors, among whom readers of our magazine can be found.

Caged fur

There are pelts from more than 100 different varieties of animals, which are used in the fur industry. This is why the fate of many kinds of animals with beautiful fur is extremely tragic. Some of them have vanished from the surface of the Earth and others are almost extinct and appear in The Red Book.

But, in some cases animals that were almost completely hunted to extinction by humans, were saved.

For example, the Silver-black Fox was almost extinct in Canada by 1890 and the price for one of its pelts went up to $4500. The high price stimulated artificial breeding of these animals, the result of which was a sale of the first pelt for $2718 at the London fur auction in 1901. The animal was saved but the price on its fur has never reached the former level.

The development of fur-farming, especially in the first quarter of the twentieth century allowed not only the preservation of some animal species but also made it possible to raise a larger quantity of animals with valuable fur in captivity.

The history of chinchilla breeding is very interesting and its pelts are considered to be those of the third millennium. In the 19th century chinchilla became extremely popular. Its sale exceeded all reasonable limits, but until 1917 the enormous demand couldn"t be met by supply. Then they started breeding chinchillas at special farms.

If in the beginning the artificial breeding of an animal was a struggle for the reservation of a species and the enlargement of the stock, in the end it has become a very profitable business. Many people started out in this business, but not everybody paid due attention to the quality of the fur. As a result, in 1954 at the auction in New-York, where the first auction of artificially bred chinchilla took place, they didn"t sell more than half of the goods because of their low fur quality. The prospectors left the business and those who stayed paid attention to the production of quality fur. And soon chinchilla breeding became profitable again.

Its worth saying that in fur-farming, the sale of the young of a breed is often more profitable than fur production. For example, in the 1930-1950s a pair of breed chinchillas cost thousands of dollars. They tried to breed chinchilla in The USSR in the 1960s, but this program was terminated.

Probably, because we had plenty of our own animals with valuable fur. But, now the breeding of chinchillas is considered to be profitable and to have a great future in the countries of The CIS, if for no other reason than that the internal market for chinchilla-fur goods promises to be stable.

Fur-breeding is the one of the most important branches of the fur industry; it successfully combines environmental protection with profitable business. It"s impossible to imagine the fur industry now without it. In 2000, 27.1 million mink pelts and 4.0 million fox and Arctic fox were produced world-wide - the basic types of farmed fur. Now, the basic scale of world trade in farmed fur as a raw material comes to about $1 billion.

The currency speculator (Moscow).- 17.02.2003 // Ludmila Bobrik

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