FUR COMMISSION USA PRESS RELEASE, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
World Mink Production Continues to Soar
China consolidates top position
The global supply of ranched mink pelts continues to hit new highs as farmers respond to strong prices at auction, fuelled by growing demand for mink garments, particularly in China and Russia.
According to the latest statistics released annually by Oslo Fur Auctions, the world-wide harvest this year totalled 57.59 million pelts, up 16% from a revised output of 49.58 million in 2006.
While farmers around the world have been expanding their mink herds, the dramatic rise in total production can be attributed to China. Not only have more affluent consumers in that growing economy been demanding more and more North American and European pelts, but their own farmers have been boosting output exponentially to meet demand for cheaper, lower-grade mink garments.
Because Chinese pelts do not pass through the international auction system, estimating output has pretty much been a guessing game. But information improves each year, and as a result Oslo Fur Auctions revised its 2006 estimate of Chinese production upward from 10 million to 15 million, making them the largest producer ahead of Denmark. This year, China is estimated to have produced 20 million pelts, or about one-third of total world output.
Because of the generally inferior quality of Chinese mink, and the rapidly growing domestic market for luxury products, the possibility of a surplus of mink entering the world market and undermining prices for top-quality pelts is still considered remote.
Meanwhile, long-time top dog Denmark increased production in 2007 to 14 million, up 4% from the year before. Other estimates of output in major producers are as follows: Netherlands: 4.3 million, up 16%; USA: 3 million, up 5%; Poland: 2.8 million, up 27%; Canada: 2.3 million, up 9%; Russia: 2.2 million, up 5%; Finland: 2.1 million, up 5%; Baltic States: 1.6 million, up 14%; Sweden: 1.5 million, up 7%; Belarus: 1 million, up 15%; Norway: 680,000, up 28%.