There appeared to be a good number of bids for U.S. hides placed by tanners last week. The problem was that the majority of those bids for U.S. Steer hides were at levels well below last traded levels. On top of that, the quantities of the bids being placed were for a small amount. When considering a bid, sellers look at both the price and quantity of the bid and take both into consideration. A low-priced bid may not, on its own, be attractive to the supplier. But a bid that is large enough in volume to change the supplier’s sold position may make it more attractive to the seller in certain markets. Trades of U.S. Steer hides that did take place last week were done at prices that were $1.00 to $1.50 below their last sold levels. The Heavy Native Steer hide, which dropped $1.00 of its worth, held its value better than the Branded Steer hide selections. Sellers of those Branded Steer hide selections saw values drop at higher rates. The U.S. Cow hide values also were under downward pressure. The Native Cow hide selections both Dairy and Plump types were traded at price that were down from their previous sales levels by $1.00 to $2.00 per piece. Plump Branded Cow hide prices were reported, on limited trading, to be down $.50 to $1.00 per hide. Cattle slaughter in the U.S. moved higher last week as near the expected post Easter Sunday, April 21st increase in domestic demand for beef. The USDA’s Export sales number for raw and wet blue hides published last Thursday for the prior week’s, was a good bit lower than the totals we saw for the two weeks prior to last. What stood out most in that report was the lack of sales to China. The bright spot in the report, from U.S. hide supplier’s point of view, was the fact that reported sales were spread out/distributed to many destinations. The Chinese tanners were noticeably absent from the market during the period.
The FOB plant prices for seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hides were down again last week:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $42.00 to $43.00 per piece, were down $1.00 for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides from $37.00 to $38.00 per piece, were down $1.00 for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at $28.00 per piece, were down $1.50 for the week.
The Export Sales Report released by the USDA on Thursday, April 11th. for the 7-day period ending Thursday, April 4th. showed that 487,100 raw and wet blue U.S. hides were sold for export during that week. This number is a good bit lower than the 610,600 pieces reported to have been sold for export the prior week. China was the big buyer taking 165,200 pieces, or 34 percent of the total sales number, a small percentage for them.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the week ending Saturday, April 13, 2019, was 634,000 cattle. The year to date FIS is an estimated to be 8,426,000 up .7 percent from last year.
The Chinese tanners, who often act in unison, have not been active buyers of U.S. cattle hides over the past few weeks. The last two USDA’s reported weeks of Export Sales indicated that China took only 38% of the U.S. raw and wet blue hides sold during that two-week period, where they normally would be taking well over 50% of the reported sales. This makes one think the Chinese tanners need to enter the market soon or lose their ownership positions. Let’s hope so. Again, GREED IS A TERRIBLE THING!
GOLFER – CADDY CONVERSATIONS
Golfer: “You’ve got to be the worst caddy in the world.”
Caddy: “I don’t think so … that would be too much of a coincidence.”