The fact that last week was a holiday-shortened one did not seem to affect the number of tanners in the market bidding for U.S. hides. The week began with U.S. hide sellers sending out offer lists on which they had priced most items basically steady with their prior week’s asks. The problem for suppliers was the fact that the bids from tanners were lower, on average, by $2.00 than the offering prices. However, as the week progressed a good number of tanners did raise their bid prices up, and most of the business that was concluded on both U.S. Steer and Cow hides was done at prices steady with last traded levels. One of the trade publications reported some Heavy Texas Steer hides being sold at a significantly lower level, but we could not confirm that trade. We should mention that we, again last week, did not hear of any U.S. raw or wet blue Steer hides being sold at a higher price than its last traded level. There were some rumors of a few U.S. Dairy Cow hides being sold last week at prices that were slightly higher, up by $.50 to $1.00 per piece from their last traded levels. With last week being a holiday-shortened one Cattle slaughter was quite a bit lower. But, even at that, we do not think that the number of hides sold last week was enough to match the week’s production. With the temporary shutdown of the U.S. government, the USDA’s Export Sales numbers for raw and wet blue hides was not available. Not that that is any big loss to the trade, because of its well-known and frequent inaccuracies. But the report does give some indication of how the number of pieces traded is trending.
Following are our quotes for last week’s 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, unchanged for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $38.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at between $28.00 and $30.00 per piece, down $1.50 for the week.
The USDA’s Export Sales Report on whole cattle hides, and wet blue equivalents for the week ending Thursday, December 20th was not available this week. That was because of the politically motivated shutdown of nonessential U.S. government duties.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the holiday shortened week ending Saturday, December 29, 2018, was 438,000 cattle. This number is considerably from the 659,000 cattle knocked the prior week.
We think this week could be slower than last week for the U.S. hide market, because we expect the New Year holiday will sideline more buyers in Asia than last week’s Christmas holiday. But, with U.S. hides being very reasonably priced, tanners may think this week would be a good time to enter the market and take some raw material ownership. We expect packers’ working days this week will mirror last week’s, so we expect the cattle harvest will be close to last week’s number. It would be a nice New Year gift for U.S. hide suppliers if they could put a good round of business on the books.
CREATIVE PUN FOR THE EDUCATIED MIND
She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.