Activity in the U.S. hide market picked-up last week. U.S. hide suppliers’ offer lists that were sent out early in the week contained fewer selections at steady to slightly higher prices, and shipment periods indicated that suppliers sold ahead positions had improved. Steer hide selections were the items that suppliers had seen the most buyer interest and resulting sales of over the last couple of weeks. Consequently U.S. Steer hides were the selections that suppliers were most comfortable with raising their asking prices on. It was relatively early last week that you could sense demand for many of the U.S. Steer hide selections had carried over from the week before last. There were sales that were reported by mid-last week for both Native and Branded U.S. Steer hides that were up by $.50 to $1.00 per piece. Those sales prices set the market for the week. U.S. Cow hide producers did also see a good number of bids for their productions. It appeared that there was a good amount of business put together on better origin Dairy Cow hides at steady to slightly higher prices. There was also some buyer interest for U.S. Native and Branded Plump Cow hides. For the Native Plump Cow hides sellers were able to move them at or close to steady money. There were also more bids in the market for Branded Cow hides, although some of those bids were not workable some suppliers did find better bids on this selection and were able to move some product. The talk coming out of Asia regarding leather business was mixed, some tanners were said to have improved leather orders and to be quite busy, while others continued to say they were suffering from a shortage of leather sales. No matter how you cut it or justify it demand for U.S. Steer hides continued to improve last week as did demand for some of the Cow hide selections. The USDA’s Export Sales number reported last week for the prior week’s sales of U.S. raw and wet blue cattle hides was a decent number, not great but not bad for the week following a very high-volume week. It is being reported that beef sales have begun to slow, but that fact has not yet shown up in the weekly slaughter numbers.
As a result of the improved demand we are moving our week ending price quotes for last week’s FOB plant values for seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hides a little higher to the following levels:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at from $33.00 to $34.50 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $31.00 per piece, up $1.00 for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at from $21.00 to $23.00 per piece, up $.25 for the week.
The Export Sales Report released by the USDA on Thursday, June 27, 2019 for the week ending Thursday, June 20th. showed 554,800 raw and wet blue hides were sold for export during that 7-day period. This number is down from the 672,100 pieces reported sold the prior week. China was the big buyer purchasing 308,300 pieces of the raw and wet blue hides sold. The second-place buyer for the week was Thailand with 77,700 pieces purchased.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the week ending Saturday, June 29, 2019, was 665,000 cattle. This estimate just about equal to the prior week’s number of 662,000 head.
U.S. Steer hide suppliers were able to not only sell a good number of hides last week but they were able to get steady to slightly higher prices in the process. We expect those Steer hide sales will impower marketers of those selections to ask higher prices this week. Same can be said of the suppliers of the better grading U.S. Dairy Cow hides, they sold in reasonable volume at steady to prices that were up $1.00 per hide. This will be a holiday shortened week here in the U.S. as we celebrate this Thursday our 4th of July, Independence Day National Holiday. We expect many people will be out of the office on Friday as well, enjoying a long 4-day weekend. But we know from experience that all of those involved in selling U.S. hides can be reached via their mobile phone just about 24-7. We hope the U.S. hide market continues to show stability this week, it is important for all of us involved with hides and leather.
– Dale Douglass, asked how long it took him to prepare for the Senior Tour