If you ignore the prices paid for U.S. raw and wet blue hides traded last week, then you would have to call the week a good one for sellers. Again, as has been the case for the last three weeks or more, there were more than enough bids in the market to clear the offering lists that packers, processor and traders sent out last week. However, the devil in the details was price. To our knowledge, there were not any sales of raw or wet blue U.S. Steer or Cow hides at better than steady money last week. There may have been a few sales at higher prices for a certain selection, from a certain plant, but those had to be few and far between. The good news for sellers, besides the volume traded, was that most sales made were done at steady money. A selection that did lose $1.00 of its value was the Heavy Native Steer hide. The value of a Butt Branded Steer hide was, in our eyes, off $.50 per piece. Both down-value-items suffered from auto upholstery tanners’ continuing withdrawal from the market. The result of the absence of the auto guys is that the price for Heavy Native Steer hides has moved closer to the other Steer hide selections. U.S.Cow hide selections held their own last week. There were Cow hide orders being placed by tanners at lower prices. However, sellers stuck to their guns and the Cow hide business that was put together was done at prices that we would call steady. U.S. Beef packers processed almost as many cattle last week as they did two weeks ago. Ongoing beef demand and the approaching year-end holidays kept packers running at close to maximum capacity. Sellers also got a positive lift from large The Export Sales number for raw and wet blue cattle hides released by the USDA last Thursday. That number was one of the stronger ones reported in some time.
The following are our take for the FOB plant prices for the seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hide selections at the end of last week:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $43.00 per piece,down $1.00 for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at between $38.00 and $39.00 per piece, down$ .50 for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at between $30.00 and $31.00 per piece, no change for the week.
The Export Sales Report released by the USDA on December 13, 2018, for the week ending Thursday,December 6th stated that 617,100 whole cattle hides, and wet blue equivalents were sold for export during the period. This number is up considerably from the 439,500 pieces reported to have been traded the prior week. The big buyer was China with 337,700 pieces purchased. Korea again was the second biggest buyer.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the week ending Saturday, December 15, 2018, was 654,000 cattle. This number is off just a touch from the 667,000 head harvested during the prior week. Year-to-date the FIS is 2.5% above a year ago to date,
We expect that this week will not be much different from last week. We expect to a good number of tanners in the market for U.S. raw and wet blue hides. We also expect that U.S. hide suppliers will have a good amount of material on their offering lists. Tanners will initially bid lower prices and that will be a back and forth discussion with suppliers. In the end, we look for good number of sales to be consummated at or very close to last traded levels. Prices remain attractive to buyers while sellers want to maintain the sold ahead positions they have been able to establish over the last few weeks.
MORE WISDOM FROM JACK NICKLAUS
When I putt, I hold my breath just before initiating the stroke to keep my head and body still.
Even the gutsiest players learn they can’t try the hero shot all the time.