Liquidation of auction house hits Swakara

With the coronavirus pandemic throwing the spotlight on fur farming practices in the northern hemisphere, karakul pelt producers in Namibia will have to rethink their marketing options.

16 December 2020 | Agriculture

ELVIRA HATTINGH

WINDHOEK



The collapse of the mink fur market and the consequent liquidation of Copenhagen Fur means that Swakara must find another international agent for its karakul pelt sales.

The Swakara board will be forced to appoint a new international agent for its pelt sales in 2021 after Copenhagen Fur announced that it was closing down and would start liquidating assets over the next 24 months.

The chairperson of the Swakara board, Julene Meyer, said Saga Fur might be a good choice to replace Copenhagen Fur as international agent.



End of an era

This comes after the Danish government ordered a mass cull of millions of farmed minks in an effort to fight a coronavirus mutation.

The auction of mink fur is central to Copenhagen Fur, and Denmark has been the world's largest mink producer.

The 90-year-old company still has enough pelts to hold auctions next year and possibly further into the future, but will start liquidating the business after that, according to a statement issued by Copenhagen Fur.

Meyer said the Swakara board has yet to consider all the options when it comes to a new appointment. A new Swakara board will also be announced in 2021.

“The pelts that did not sell during the September 2020 auction will still be offered at the Copenhagen Fur auction from 20 to 22 February 2021,” she said.

“Our hope is for a cold winter in the northern hemisphere and that many fur coats will sell and have good demand in 2021,” she said.



Poor sales

The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the international fur industry and consequently, Copenhagen Fur's April auction was very poor. Locally, Swakara producers had to let their lambs grow up for the meat market, for the sake of a sustainable income.

The April auction of Copenhagen Fur had to be migrated to an electronic platform because of the pandemic.

International borders were closed and out of the 30 621 total pelts on offer by Swakara producers, only 3 228 pelts were sold via the electronic auction held at Copenhagen Fur on 22 April 2020.

Some pelts were deferred to the September auction.

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