There has been significant and increasing demand for Icelandic eider down in the world market since 2010. If the development continues the value of eider down export will exceed ISK 500 million (USD 4.0 million, EUR 3.2 million) in 2012.
An eider duck. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Most of the down is exported to Japan where it is used for luxury duvets that are priced at up to ISK 5 million (USD 40,000, EUR 31,000) in stores, Morgunblaðið reports.
Eider nesting is considered an additional source of income at approximately 400 farms in Iceland. The eider ducks pluck the down themselves to line their nests and when they no longer need it, farmers pick the eider down from the nests and clean it.
Iceland produces around three tons of eider down annually. Each kilo delivers between ISK 160,000 to 300,000 (USD 1,300-2,400, EUR 1,000-1,900) to farmers.
The weather this spring was mostly favorable for eider farmers, although the cold spell in May caused problems for some farmers in the northern part of the country.