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Karakul farmers on a roll as swakara fetches new record prices in Kopenhagen

Karakul farmers earned Namibia more than N$32 million in foreign currency at this year’s second karakul auction in Denmark.

Swakara set new price records at last week’s pelt auction in Kopenhagen, Denmark, with the highest ever average price in Namibia Dollar of N$654.20 per pelt. The total offer of 50019 swakara pelts was sold by Agra at this auction on 9 September 2012.  The average price is an increase of 0.88% on the N$648.51 achieved at the April 2012 auction.
The pelt offer consisted of 37061 black, 8276 white, 3910 grey, 234 brown and 538 diverse pelts.
The highest price for black pelts was N$1513.84, for a lot of 100 O Light Selected Extra pelts, paid by Mr. Konstantinou of Kastoria, Greece. The highest price achieved for white swakara was also N$1513.84 for a lot of 58 KF Selected Extra pelts, purchased by Mayer & Cie of Switserland.
The pelt offer was bought by 23 buyers, with other prospective buyers bidding, but not being successful. The biggest buyer of swakara was Mr. Guida of Italy who purchased 12296 pelts. Italy this time bought the most pelts, with Greece in second place and Germany third.
The tendency of buyers being very selective was again clear with the price gap between higher and lower grades being wider again. Higher grade pelts achieved better prices than at the previous auction, while lower grade pelts‘ prices decreased further.
The top Namibian producer (with more than 250 pelts) at this auction was Lovedale Farming CC of Keetmanshoop, who sold 316 pelts at an average of N$ 934.89. The top South African producer was JA Karsten of Postmasburg, who achieved an average price of R844.29 for 271 pelts.
According to the Kopenhagen Fur website, Mr. Konstantinou Athanasios previously tried in vain to buy swakara top lots at several auctions for a number of years. His company, Kon Furs, specialises in swakara, and he was thus very happy with his purchase. “I wish to prove that I aspire for the highest quality, so I am relieved as well as happy that I succeeded this time,” said Athanasios. From Kon Furs’ factory in Greece, the wholesale company supplies customers mainly in USA, Russia and Dubai. The swakara Black top lot skins will be used to create two special garments, which will be exhibited at the fur fairs in Kastoria and Hong Kong.
Between the average prices and the top prices is still a difference of almost 50% which is a strong market indication to producers that quality pelts lead to a substantially higher income.

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