Tanners continued to bid on U.S. raw and wet blue hides last week. The volume of bids in the market was again large and the origin of those bids was well spread out among tanners and country of destination. A good number of those bids were at levels that were just too low to be entertained by sellers. Still by weeks end the feeling was that there had been a good round of business booked. To get their product moved U.S. Plump (Beef Type) Steer/Heifer hide sellers did have to book some of their sales at prices that were down a little per piece. The Heavy Native Steer hide selection is one that was again under pressure. This is the time of year that one will find a greater percentage of Native Steers in the U.S. Steer hide production. This coupled with the temporary slowdown in purchasing by the U.S. auto upholstery tanners has brought the value of the Heavy Native Steer hide more in line with the other Fed Steer hide selections. U.S. Cow hide marketers unlike the Steer/Heifer hide sellers were able to keep the sale prices on their Plump Native and Branded Cow hides steady. The Dairy Cow hide was the only selection on which sellers could record some sales price increases that were up as much as $1.00 per piece from their previous levels. The U.S. Federally Inspected Cattle slaughter kept on going at a consistent pace last week. We do expect slaughter to slow during the two upcoming holiday weeks. For the second week in a row the Export Sales number for raw and wet blue cattle hides which they released last Thursday by the USDA was favorable to the market. This number indicates the trade’s claim to have had a robust week of sales during that period was justified.
Here is what we are calling, at the end of last week, the FOB plant prices for the seasonal average weight 60-65 lb. Big Packer Steer hide selections:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at between $42.00 and $43.00 per piece, down $ .50 for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $38.00 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 20, 2018, for the week ending Thursday, December 13th showed that 705,600 whole cattle hides, and wet blue equivalents were sold for export during the period. This number is up from the 671,100 pieces reported to have been traded the prior week. The largest buyer was China with 287,100 pieces booked. Korea purchased 99,000 whole cattle hides making it the second-place buyer.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the week ending Saturday, December 22, 2018, was 659,000 cattle. This number is consistent with the 654,000 head processed the prior week. Year-to-date the FIS is 2.5% above a year ago to date,
This being Christmas Week we must expect everything regarding business will slow down. It is time for all to catch their breath and to begin to think about next year. We understand that tanners are doing well, making a nice margin on the leather they can sell. But, the volume of those orders is down from where they were a year ago and the supply of hides is up from a year ago. As we all know hide production in not demand sensitive Thus, U.S. hide prices are down by anywhere between 35 to 75 percent depending on selection. What we need is increased leather demand in 2019.
CREATIVE PUN FOR THE EDUCATED MIND
A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.