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Martin, E.B.; Hillman Smith, K., 1999. Entrepots for rhino horn in Khartoum and Cairo threaten Garamba's white rhino population. Pachyderm 27: 76-85, figs. 1-2, photo 1-8, table 1

Location: Africa - Eastern Africa - Sudan
Subject: Value - Related to Horn
Species: African Rhino Species

Original text on this topic:
Sudan, Prices for rhino horn. The asking price for the 450-gram horn seen in early 1997 was $1,960 per kilo. The prices quoted for the three horns seen in late 1997 (Table 1 ), and the two others offered but not seen, may imply some collusion among the traders at that time as their original prices were the same. Only the first broker was willing to reduce his price slightly. This broker wrongly stated that its price in Yemen was $5,000 a kilo, when in fact it is about $ 1,200 a kilo. The two other horns that were not seen were, as expected by this stage, $3,500 a kilo. All prices were given in US dollars, never Sudanese pounds nor Sudanese dinars. There are several reasons why the price was so high. First, the prospective buyer was a westerner. Second, all negotiations were conducted by a broker visiting a shop who had to give a commission to the shopkeeper and take a percentage for himself before giving the rest to the owner. Third, the brokers were not familiar with the Yemeni and eastern Asian markets. The price for an excellent condition and very large horn in Yemen might reach $1,400 a kilo. Prices in South Korea and China may be slightly higher than in Yemen, but not over $2.500 a kilo. Thus, it seems that the Sudanese brokers had been over-pricing the horns and therefore had not sold them after several months.
African traders try to sell rhino horns quickly. There has been no tradition in tropical Africa for businessinen to stockpile rhino horns. The merchants have to pay a poacher or his agent for the
horns immediately on receipt so they need to sell them fairly quickly to re-coup their costs. The main poaching gang leader also has to pay off his men, and other relevant expenses, so he too wants his money as soon as possible. Neither is there evidence of businessmen in tropical Africa speculating on a price increase for rhino horn by holding back significant quantities from the market. This has been fortunate for traders since the mid-1980s as the import price for rhino horn in Yemen has remained the same in US dollars since 1985 and in eastern Asia the price peaked in 1990 and actually fell in the early 1990s. Thus, a Sudanese businessman speculating on the price of rhino horn in Yemen from 1985 to the present would have lost in hard currency by delaying his sale. He needed to sell the hem as quickly as possible to maximize his financial returns.
Table 1. Prices for rhino horn in Khartoum and Omdurman in November 1997.
Horn type in order seen Weight Price per kilo
White rhino 3.25 kg $3,200
Black or white rhino? 0.23 kg $3,500
White rhino 2.54 kg $3,500

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