Don and Sherry had had just returned from another visit to an Alpaca ranch. Field trips as Don liked to call them. Don was in the backyard getting ready to barbecue some ribs as Sherry approached him with a question he hadn’t thought about.
“Don, do you remember all the hub bub about Emus?” Don looking puzzled “Yeah, what about it?” Don, wondering where she was going with this stopped what he was doing. “Well what happened to that market? You sure don’t see Emus anywhere do you? So where is the Alpaca market going to be years from now? Don’t you think we should look into it?”
That is a very good question is it not? It is a type of question anyone should ask if they want to start a business for profit. Unfortunately not many think to go down this road and blindly become involved in a business without researching where the market might be twenty-five years from now.
When looking at the Alpaca market you need to understand how you make money with these animals.
1. Breeding (Especially females)
2. Stud Fees
While the fiber of an Alpaca is important in breeding it will become more valuable as people come into the business and animal populations increase. This will create a greater demand for fiber mills in this country thereby increasing the monetary value of fiber.
Breeding and Stud Fees will always be dependent on the market price of Alpacas. This is called market risk and this is the risk a person will take when they enter this business.
As of this writing the average female costs between ten thousand and twenty-five thousand dollars. Alpacas were introduced into this country about the mid-eighties and they continue to hold value. In other words the price for a female is the same today as it was fifteen years ago.
Why has the market not fluctuated? Here are some reasons:
The gestation period is eleven and a half months. This allows the industry to grow slowly over time and keeps the market stable.
There are fewer low-end prices for Alpacas and increasing prices for quality animals. The integrity of the business is raised which keeps prices stable.
No more imports. Alpacas are no longer allowed from outside the country. This also helps to keep down the herd size and allows for stable growth.
The future of the Alpaca industry is very promising. It appears that the market should remain stable in the coming years. Though nothing is ever certain, but what is certain is this market is growing and the future looks bright.