ECONOMY

Ruble drop takes toll on fur trade

Turnover in the fur industry will drop by 30 to 50 percent in Greece this year, according to producers in Western Macedonia. The reasons behind this expected decline are not just the general economic crisis but also the devaluation of the Russian currency. This has brought about weaker demand from Russia, the market that absorbs about 95 percent of Greek fur products each year, or some 250,000 items. Reduced cash flow and huge amounts of stock, with products seeing their value cut by half, have led Greek fur producers toward limited participation in the global raw materials market, as the Kastorian Fur Association suggests. The Greek share of global trade has now dropped by 70 percent, from about 10-12 percent last year to 3-4 percent this year. Iraklis Kallisthenis, the president of the association, told a press conference yesterday that the 1,300 local firms are defying closure for the time being but have been forced to lay off several employees.