THE HIDE MARKET – February 25, 2019
U.S. Big Packer raw and wet blue Steer/Heifer hide offering lists last week were similar in both volume and price to the prior week’s lists. Processors’ offering lists were a bit more mixed with sellers asking more, less, or steady money, depending on selection and origin. Initial bids from tanners were well below what we would consider steady. In response, U.S. hide suppliers countered those bids at price levels that were either equal to, or slightly higher than, those last traded levels. By Thursday of last week, the volume of bids from various tanners grew quite considerably, and by Friday there were enough steer hides booked to make it a sizable week of trading. There was a lot of tanner interest for U.S. Cow hides last week, but it is hard to determine how much cow business was booked by weeks end. Most bids were down about $1.00 from the previous week, but we did not hear of suppliers being interested in booking those bids. Consequently, we are calling both U.S. Spready and Plump Cow hide values unchanged for the week. The Lineapelle Fair was held last Wednesday through Friday in Milan, Italy. The reports we got from a few attending the fair were on the positive side for leather. The show was reported to be well attended and that exhibitors’ booths appeared to be busy. This show was not for selling hides, but instead for tanners to promote leather. Tanners for their part were said to have been taking on synthetic leather substitutes in their discussions with manufacturers, with some success. As positive as this sounds for the leather business, any affect that comes from this show and tanners’ efforts in Milan will not immediately seen. US. Cattle slaughter remained below the 600,000 head number again last week. That was the result of the winter weather as well as beef demand. We are leaving our last week’s FOB plant prices for the seasonal avserage weight Big Packer Steer hide selections Steady with the prior week:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $43.00 to $44.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $40.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at $30.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
The USDA last Friday released their “catch-up” report for Export Sales number of U.S. raw and wet blue hides and skins. The catch-up report was necessitated by the U.S. government shutdown. The report encompassed a six-week period from the week of Thursday January 10th through the week ending Thursday February 14th. The total pieces of raw and wet blue hides reported by the USDA as sold during this six-week period was 3,146,100 units. That translates into 524,350 pieces per week, which is a respectable number. Export shipment number for the six weeks was 3,110,100 pieces or 518,350 units per week on average.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the week ending Saturday, February 23, 2019, was estimated to be 577,000 head of cattle. Down from the 596,000 animals processed the prior week. The Year to date FIS is an estimated 4,710,000 head down 0.7 percent from a year ago.
We went into last week expecting to see more Chinese tanners entering the market for U.S. Cattle hides. We did see a good number of those buyers bidding on U.S. raw material. However, most of the bids from the Chinese tanners were at levels that suppliers showed no interest in. In our thinking it is just a matter of time before these sellers and buyers, who need each other, come to agreement on price. Let’s see if this week is going to be the week that happens.
Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboy fullback when asked if Coach Tom Landry ever smiles: “I don’t’ know, I only played there for nine years.”