Financial Aspects of Alpaca Ownership
Chapter 3: Alpaca Supply and Demand
The market for alpacas has been moderated by the effects of relatively
slow herd growth. As of early 2004, the total population of registered
alpacas in North America accounts for about 50,000 in the United
States and about 15,000 in Canada.
Supply will continue to be limited in the near future for a number
Alpacas reproduce slowly. A female generally breeds for the
first time between 18-24 months of age, is pregnant for 11-12
months, and almost always only has one cria per year.
Many breeders retain their offspring to build their herds.
The limited size of the national herds in each country outside
of South America will restrain growth to a small degree.
The U.S. alpaca registry is closed to further importation to
protect our national herd, which will further moderate U.S.
Meanwhile, demand for alpacas has increased dramatically every
year since their introduction outside of South America (1984). Not
only are there more breeders entering the alpaca market each year
in established countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia
and the U.S., but there are more countries worldwide also actively
establishing alpaca herds. This growth is sure to continue as the
alpaca gains international recognition.
Alpacas offer an outstanding choice for livestock ownership. They
have long been known as the aristocrat of all ranch animals. Most
of all, alpacas have a charismatic manner, they do very well on
small acreage, and they produce a luxury product which is high in
The above text is
an excerpt from the AOBA Breeder's Guide Article: Financial Aspects
of Alpaca Ownership.
2. Who Buys Alpacas?
3. Supply & Demand
4. Alpaca Values
5. Capital Requirements
6. Hands-On Ownership
7. Financial Observations
8. Tax Consequences
10. Creating a Herd
11. Purchase Contracts