Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chinese flock to France for ivory auction but prices crash

Posted by: Kevin Heath / 1 day ago

An ivory auction held in Cannes, France yesterday saw a ton of tusks being sold entirely to Chinese buyers. Despite willing buyers the price of the ivory was over 30% lower than the last auction in March when prices reached $1,000 a kilo.

All the tusks on sale at the auction had certificates to show they were attained previous to 1975 and so are legal to sell and trade under CITES regulations.

The auction was undertaken by Cannes Encheres auction house who complained that the tightening up of regulations in China and Europe had led to the drop in value of the tusks. It spokesman Alexandre Debussy called on the European Union to relax export regulations to make it easier to export tusks from the EU.

He claimed that a more relaxed and less regulated market in tusks would ‘help the fight against poaching and save thousands of elephants’.

While the auction house believes that regulations has led to the fall in prices it could also be due to a shrinking marketplace for legal tusks. In recent months major retailers, including Chinese state owned companies, in Asia are pulling out of the ivory market and closing their stores and departments that sell ivory.

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