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FUR REAL: Demand in China for higher-quality furs among the newly wealthy has helped push mink pelt prices to record levels and shielded U.S. farmers from the sluggish economy.
RECESSION IMPACT: Americans struggling to hold on to their jobs and homes stopped shopping for furs during the recession. U.S. retail prices hit a 10-year low in 2009.
THE FUTURE: Animal rights activists, who have worked to make fur unfashionable in the U.S., are turning their attention to Asia, but thus far, American fur farmers are reaping greater profits.