Summary: Overall, prices are still at the low for the year. There is still the trend of some selective factories in need of cash and selling duck down inventory at below market rates, but the availability of this material (acceptable quality) has dropped, so the overall trend is that we are at the floor of the market. Goose down prices are holding, mainly due to a tighter supply of quality material.
Duck Down: The demand for duck down has remained soft over the past month, and this culminated with a brief drop at the beginning of December as inventory of duck down material (500FP material) was released onto the market over the past few weeks. This caused about a 5% drop in price, although prices have since begun to shift back up towards an equilibrium level (in line with the raw material price level).
With duck down market prices at the current floor level, the activity in December is picking up speed with with international orders (USA/Europe) and domestic orders (bedding and down companies in late final stages of prep for Chinese New Year).
Goose Down: As with duck down, demand for goose has been below expectations the past six months, but the affect on prices was minimal as supply remained tight. The goose market is holding steady and is expected to do so because of the lower inventories and tighter supply of quality raw material. Over the past month, Liu Qiao has secured some important white goose raw material contracts from farms/slaughterhouses that produce some of the best material in China. Our investment into the supply chain has allowed us to gain such traction on the sourcing side, so we will be able to offer not just a great value for these products, but full traceability as well.
The trend that both duck and goose down is experiencing is a shift from lower down cluster material to higher down cluster material (e.g., 30% to 50% down, to 75% - 90% down). This is having a positive impact on the market and it will be important to see how the demand keeps up with supply prior to Chinese New Year (factories usually will release as much inventory as they can). With some factories already releasing excess inventory over the past couple months the overall view is that large price movements will be unlikely.