Last Monday was our Memorial Day national holiday here in the U.S.A. Therefore, most offices were closed until Tuesday which resulted in a slow start to the week for all business here. The market was full of stories about raw hides, wet blue, and crust leather being stacked up around the world. We have been told that, because hides have been historically cheap, Chinese tanners as well as tanners elsewhere have bought more hides than are required to fill their leather orders. This may be true to some extent, but by the end of last week there was interest in the market and there were a good number of tanners bidding on a good number of U.S. hides. The bids for U.S. Steer hides were lower than the prior week’s sale prices. After a some back and forth the final sale prices that were confirmed for the Steer hides that were traded last week appeared to be steady or down by $1.00 per piece at the most. Interest in U.S. Cow hides was limited mostly to Dairy and plump Native Cows, with sale prices steady or down a maximum of $1.00 per piece. The Federally Inspected U.S. Cattle slaughter number for last week was down below the 600,000 head level last week. This lower slaughter number of course was the result of last being a holiday shortened week here. We do expect that weekly number to return to or close to the 650,000 head number for the next few weeks. As we understand it, the beef business remains very good and beef packers will remain busy. We are of the understanding that the slaughter mix will change a little going forward. We are told, that we should see fewer cows being harvested and marginally more fat cattle, feed yard, Steers and Heifers. The USDA Export Sales Report that was released last week for what was the week ending Thursday May 23rd. showed a large sales numbers and a decent number for shipments for the period. This made must U.S. hide suppliers feel a little better going into this past weekend.
Following are opinion as to what were the FOB plant values of seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hides as of last Friday:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $33.00 per piece, down $1.00 for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $29.00 per piece, down $1.00 for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at $21.00 per piece, steady for the week.
The Export Sales Report released by the USDA on Thursday, May 30, 2019 for the week ending Thursday, May 23rd. stated that 873,100 U.S. raw and wet blue hides were sold for export during that 7-day period. This total is up dramatically from the 620,000 pieces sold two weeks ago. China was the number one buyer booking 473,600 pieces or about 55 % of the material sold during the week. Thailand was the number 2 destination as it purchased 70,800 raw and wet blue hides.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the holiday shortened week ending Saturday, June 1, 2019, was 582,000 cattle. Year to Date estimated FIS is up 1% above a year ago.
U.S. hide suppliers will come into this week with a better feeling about the market. They were able to keep their sale prices at levels that were steady to down $1.00 maximum at the most. We think they will be able to hold prices steady this week and maybe up $1.00 or so on some of the better grading selections. If sellers can accomplish that feat it will be a positive for all involved in the hide and leather businesses.
The toughest thing for most people to learn in golf is to accept bad holes and then forget about them. – Gary Player