December 12, 2008
Pelt prices have continued to decrease in recent weeks, slumping 41 percent in a month in New Zealand and contributors lowering rates by as much AU$2 per skin in Australia. Pelts were just off their all-time low due in part to a swing away from leather in the fashion world as well as the weakening of world commodity prices.
John Lynch, a director of New Zealand Pelt and Skin Services, said meat companies that sold pelts were bearing the brunt, and there could be another six to eight months of pain ahead.
Lamb pelts, which were used mainly in the garment industry, have dropped significantly from about US$50 a dozen six months ago to US$35 (NZ$66) a dozen today.
"It's all dictated by fashion overseas," Lynch said.
Another reason was increased world supply. In particular, China, which takes about 25 percent of New Zealand's hide and skin exports, is fast developing its own pelt industry. Some Chinese tanneries have also discontinued ordering Australian skins, while some exporters have also ceased buying skins as it is hard to move the product.
Reprinted in part from Stuff.co.nz