Last week was Christmas week and a slow one for business here in the U.S. with the hide market being no exception. With many suppliers out of their offices for at least part of the week, if not the entire week, the amount of business put together was quite limited. However, to our knowledge, the sale prices on the U.S. raw and wet blue hides that were traded were done levels steady or slightly higher than last traded prices. The week started out with U.S. hide suppliers putting out offer lists that contained fewer selections and extended shipment periods. Tanner bids, in most cases, were less than last traded prices. There were also tanners placing unsolicited bids on Dairy Steer and Cow hides, which were not on suppliers offer lists. By the end of the week, sellers did get some business done at steady to a maximum of $1.00 higher. Though it was hard to read, our feeling was that U.S. raw and wet blue hide sales last week did at least match the holiday-abbreviated volume of last week’s slaughter. And, at the close of business last Friday we could not help but feel that things were improving for the hide and leather business. We expect the volume of bids unfulfilled last week will be carried forward, which we feel is an indication that the leather business is improving, be it ever so slowly.
Here are our per piece FOB plant price quotes for seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hides at the close of business last Friday:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $38.00 to 39.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $35.50 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at $26.00 to $27.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
The USDA Export Sales Report for U.S. Cattle hides which they released last week for the week ending Thursday, December 19th. show net export sales of raw and wet blue hides, for shipment this year and next to be 548,800 pieces. This number is up from the 483,300 pieces reported to have been sold the prior week. China remained the number one buyer, booking 273,000 or about 50 percent of the total sales.
The USDA estimated Federally Inspected Slaughter (FIS), for the holiday shortened week ending December 28, 2019 was 468,000 cattle. That number is down from the previous week’s estimate of 668,00 head processed. Year to date, FIS is an estimated 32,833,000 cattle which is 1.2 percent above last year’s level.
We don’t expect that this week’s U.S. hide market will be much different than last week’s, as this week’s trading will also be shortened by the holidays- this time, New Years. We were expecting both to be quiet trading weeks. But last week the U.S. hide market was busier than we anticipated it would be. With many of the market participants extending their Christmas week holiday, to spend time with family. We do not see that happening this week. We are expecting no change in the market trend this week. Prices on the Plump/Beef type Steer/Heifer hides will most likely stay unchanged, remaining in their current trading ranges, as they have for months. But, any Dairy Steer/Cow hides sold will be done so at higher prices. This may also be the case for the Plump Native and Branded Cow hide selections as well. WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!
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