Fox fur fetches record prices at Finnish auction

Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:59am EDT
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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Fox fur fetched record prices at a week-long auction in Finland that ended on Thursday, as strong demand from Asian buyers made up for weak European spending.

Finland's Saga Furs said the average selling price of fox furs rose to more than $240 per skin, compared with under $180 a year ago. The results offer relief for an industry facing strong domestic opposition to fur breeding.

Nordic countries account for more than half of global production of fox furs, which cost more than mink, and Finland is the world's top producer.

Saga Furs said the price of above $240 was the highest average selling price according to their records, which go back about 50 years.

Finnish lawmakers recently debated a ban on fur farms after activists collected enough signatures to introduce draft legislation - the first such citizens' initiative to make it to parliament.

The bill is unlikely to be passed, however, with a majority of lawmakers expected to oppose the ban as fur breeding is a major industry in Finland's northern region of Ostrobothnia. Parliament's agriculture and forestry committee said earlier this week that it would not support the citizens' campaign.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Pravin Char)