Most alpacas are sold off the farm. However, there are several Regional and National auctions each year. More and more, internet auctions have occurred as well. The recent economic environment has affected Suri prices and the alpaca business as it has for most businesses across the USA. The economy has stablized and Suri alpacas are still a good investment.
Average Suri Alpacas Price Ranges
- Breeding females $2,000 – $20,000
- Young females $2000- $20,000
- Stud quality males $2,500 to hundreds of thousands, with much variation
- Geldings or fiber animals ~ $250
- World record price at public auction for a single Suri male is $267,000
- Known world record price for private treaty sale of a Suri male is $325,000!
Suri Alpacas exhibiting exceptional phenotypic characteristics or pedigrees will occasionally fetch much higher prices than these ranges. By purchasing a number of animals from a single breeder, the buyer can often negotiate lower prices per animal. Male prices are driven by pedigree, age, quality of fiber, conformation, fertility, and whether or not he has quality offspring on the ground. Female prices are driven by the same factors as well as mothering and milking ability.
Most Alpaca owners are also breeders. It is one of the few investments that have the capability of reproducing its value each year. A female giving birth to a female cria has just doubled her value, or paid for herself. How many stocks typically have 100% gain in a year?!
There is a market for males, geldings and non-producing females in the fiber market. These animals have good value even though they are not producing babies each year. All of their energy can go into fiber production. They are typically much less expensive to purchase and maintain than breeding stock. The fiber market is wide open for serious fiber producers.
Their are many outlets for alpaca fiber: The Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America is one of them. The A.F.C.N.A. is asking for 50% of our annual clip to support the co-op. They process the fiber and turn it into “value-added” products: roving, yarns, and finished luxury products such as lap throws, comforters, various garments and accessories. A.F.C.N.A. shareholders purchase products at wholesale prices and sell at retail. The A.F.C.N.A. is not necessarily the choice of every alpaca breeder. Many alpaca breeders have successfully taken advantage of other fiber outlets as well as the using the “Cottage Industry”, by either selling directly to hand spinners and weavers or by producing their own finished goods.
Farm stores are becoming increasingly popular. Ambitious and creative entrepreneurs will find that fiber demand far exceeds production. There is never a problem selling the fiber or products when a market is discovered.
Because of the low numbers of Alpacas in the United States, supply and demand has dictated prices. The breeding stock market will remain strong indefinitely, with respect to the current economy. Much of our time is spent exposing the public to alpacas and educating them to the advantages and uses of alpaca fiber. We have only now tapped into the vast possibilities alpacas and their fiber offers.
Experts anticipate very little change for top-quality breeding stock in the next ten years or more. It will take many years to develop the number of fiber producing alpacas to support a strong national alpaca fiber industry on a commercial basis. When that time comes, there will be increased demand for all categories of alpacas. In the meantime, our national organizations and fellow breeders are pursuing high-end products that are American made and branded as such.