C6 NEWS/NORTH June, 2009 OPPORTUNITIES•NORTH FUR Average pelt prices dip in 2009 NWT Fur Prices NWT marten averages $62 2009 2008 Species Avg. price Top Price Average price Top price More buyers attend big Seattle auction Marten $62 $187 $100 $190 Lynx $106 $312 $288 $390 by Lauren McKeon NWT fur sells under the Northern furs are sold Wolverine $394 $537 $254 $400 Northern News Services “Genuine Mackenzie Valley several times throughout the Wolf $180 $437 $147 $470 Average prices for North- Furs” brand through a mar- year, but the biggest auction is Mink $13.49 $23.13 $16 $27 west Territories fur may be keting agreement between the put on by Fur Harvesters and down, but fur has fared better Government of the Northwest American Legend Auction in Source: GNWT Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment/Fur Harvesters Auction Inc on the markets than expected Territories and Fur Harvesters Seattle each year. This sale this season in light of the eco- Auction Inc., based in North offers both wild fur, from the Average marten prices fell by 38 per cent at March’s auction in Seattle, nomic climate. Bay, Ont. North, and ranch fur, from Washington. animals raised on farms. It took place March 11 this a high of $187. The principle aged $180 and hit a high of The boost in trappers is year. buyers of marten were Hong $437; wolverine pelts averaged especially evident in the South Sales from the March Kong/China, Russia, Greece $394 – a significant increase Slave and Sahtu regions. auction totalled $722,000, and Italy. over last year’s $254 average – The GNWT attributes accounting for most of the Production of marten rose and a high of $537, compared growth in numbers amongst $815,767 in fur revenue as of by 31 per cent this fur season. to last year’s $400 high. youth and younger adults to April. The fiscal year for fur The NWT provided 1,053 In total, the 2009 Seattle investments made to continu- sales ends June 30. pelts of lynx at the Seattle auction brought in 250 buy- ously improve its Take a Kid auction, making up one-third ers worldwide, with 40 buyers Trapping and Trapper Train- Marten down of the total offering and mark- actively competing for wild ing programs. Marten, also known as ing an 83 per cent increase in Northern fur. This is a boost Trappers receive certain Canadian sable and the back- production. Prices averaged over the 200 buyers at 2008’s amounts of payment advance, bone of the NWT fur industry, $106 – compared to last year’s auction and a great improve- like $65 per marten, with each did well at this year’s Seattle $288, the highest since 1989 – ment from the 56 buyers at fur handed over to the govern- auction, but average prices and topped at $312. Most furs 2007’s auction. ment to sell at auctions. Any dropped significantly from went to Russian buyers. Sustained interest in North- furs selling for more than the last year’s $100 high. The taxidermy trade in the ern fur is definitely good news advance get the trapper addi- The NWT offered 12,790 United States pushed demand for the 728 trappers in the tional cash equal to the dif- marten pelts. The average for the other key furs offered NWT, an increase of 16 per ference, as well as $25 prime price for market was $62, with by the NWT. Wolf pelts aver- cent from last year’s numbers. fur bonus. Nunavut seal skin market hits bottom Nunavut seal skin statistics by harvest year: No skins sell at auction photo courtesy of Glen Guthrie The top price for marten in 2008 was $190, drop- Fur Harvesters Auction Inc.’s sale ping to $187 in 2009. Average Year Pelts sold Top price price Territorial government looks 2008 2007* 0 500 $0 $55.00 0 $100.00 Meat and Groceries at Wholesale Prices for at new marketing plan 2006 5,975 $69.33 $121.29 2005 6,500 $72.65 $142.50 the Retail and Food by Lauren McKeon The Government of Nuna- 2004 7,800 $67.02 $92.40 Northern News Services vut is developing markets Source: Fur Harvesters Auction Inc. Service Industry The economic crunch and inside Nunavut and is work- *2007 harvest was primarily sold at auction in 2008. Likewise 2008 the European Union’s new ing with the NWT and Yukon harvest was put up for sale at 2009 auction. •Beef •Pork laws banning imported seal to develop fur markets in Asia The European Union’s ban on seal skins has •Veal •Poultry skin products have effectively and Russia. caused their international demand to plummet. shut down Nunavut’s inter- The government is also •Smoked Meats national seal skin trade. looking at the possibilities of None of the 11,000 seal seal leather and other ideas to •Fish •Bread pelts available during the promote the use of seal skin. January auction in North Bay, Because the Government •Cheese •Eggs Ont., were purchased. In 2007, of Nunavut is purchasing the just 500 pelts sold, down from skins, the slow seal trade is •Dairy Products nearly 6,000 sold in 2006. not yet affecting the 1,200 •Canned Goods hunters in Nunavut. Private sales •Paper Products By April this year, the Possible changes territorial government was It is possible, however, the able to sell around 1,200 GN’s seal hunting program DISTRIBUTORS FOR: •The Grocery People skins through private sales. could see some changes in the •Dairyland •Canada Bread •Saputo Foods Throughout 2008, another future. In April, the territorial 3,000 to 4,500 were sold government began a program •Maple Leaf Meats •Lilydale Poultry through private sales and the review, which includes look- and many other fine producers government’s dressed seal ing at prices paid to hunters skin program. for skins, and the minister Ph: 867-873-2364 Pelts sold for an average of and cabinet are expected to $55. The top price was listed decide a new direction for the Fax: 867-873-6516 at $100. program. 347 Old Airport Road NNSL file photo Comparatively, the top Currently, each hunter is Yellowknife, NT X1A 3T4 price paid from 2006 harvest guaranteed between $25 and No seal pelts from Nunavut were sold by the Fur was $121.29, with pelts selling $65 per seal pelt, depending Harvesters Auction due to the ban on seal skins by www.northbest.ca E-mail: email@example.com for an average of $69.33. on the size and quality. the European Union.