There were some U.S. raw and wet blue hide suppliers, including a couple of Big Packer sales people, still traveling in Asia last week. They were following up on the work they had done at the Asian Pacific Leather Fair in Hong Kong the week before last. Those travelers’ thinking was that tanners would have a better idea of their raw materials need after the show than they would before it, which sounds logical. However, we heard nothing last week regarding the results of those visits. Of course, there were rumors of some volume sales having been made at lower prices, but rumors are hard to confirm. Tanners that we did hear from were of the mind that U.S. Branded Steer hide prices could, because of the lack of leather orders from the shoe sector, move lower. Best we can tell, as of right now, shoe leather tanners still do not know what their spring early summer orders will look like. They will most likely have an idea what the specs of the leather will be, but no firm idea about the volume of their orders. A couple of the shoe leather tanners who spoke about their current situation on leather orders mentioned that the orders they are getting our more frequent but for smaller volume than historically is the pattern. As for sales of U.S. raw hides last week, we can say for the Steer hides that sale prices were either steady with or slightly lower than the prior week’s traded levels. And from what we saw and heard last week, U.S. Cow prices were fully steady to maybe a touch higher on a few well known high quality origins. The Export sales numbers released last week by the USDA showed an improved number for sales and for export, but not great numbers from a supplier’s standpoint. Cattle slaughter in the U.S. also picked up last week as packers worked their way through March, a slow month for beef demand, and weather issues that restricted operations.
The FOB plant prices for seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hide selections as of last Friday:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at between $44.00 to $45.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at between $40,00 to $41.00 per piece, down $.50 for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at between $30.00 and $31.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
The Export Sales Report released by the USDA on Thursday, March 21st. for the week ending Thursday, March 14th. Stated that 502,800 raw and wet blue hides were sold for export during those 7 days. This number is up from the 414,900 pieces reported to have been sold for export the prior week.
The USDA estimated the U.S. Federally Inspected Slaughter, (FIS) for the week ending Saturday, March 23, 2019, to be 631,000 cattle. The year to date FIS is an estimated to be 7,175,000 up .1 percent from last year.
Last week was not a very exciting one for the U.S. hide market. We saw basically steady prices on what appeared to be a limited number of sales. Seems the upholstery leather and the handbag leather sectors are holding their own as tanners producing these leathers are staying busy. It is the lack of demand for shoe leathers that has moved cattle hide prices to what we can call historically low levels. We feel the demand for leather from the shoe industry will increase this year the question we have is will that increase in demand be large enough to lift hide prices this year? We think it will, but when is another question. Have a good week.
CREATIVE PUNS FOR THE EDUCATED MIND
I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.