Activity in the U.S. hide market continued to be brisk last week, following in the footsteps of the previous week, in which we saw a decent amount of business booked. Things started off slowly, with suppliers getting their offering lists out on Monday and Tuesday as usual, and tanners reacting with a good number of bids on Wednesday and Thursday. By Thursday, we did see tanners from multiple countries in the market making bids on U.S. raw and wet blue hides. But, few those bids were up to supplier’s expectations, and little business was consummated for that reason. Then, Friday came around and a good number of tanners, most of them Chinese, either accepted sellers asking/counter prices or raised their bids to levels that producers found acceptable. This resulted in a good round of business being put together on U.S. raw hides. Prices on the Plump Steer hide selections sold were mostly steady, while Native Heifer, Branded Heifer, and Native Plump Cow hide sale prices all moved up by $1.00 per piece on average. Again, although we did see tanners from numerous arears/countries in the market last week, it was the Chinese tanners that were the most aggressive buyers. This may be due to the fact that many Chinese tanners will be out this week enjoying the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year, holidays. Nice to have your new-year-needs taken care of prior to relaxing. Beef packers profit margins improved somewhat last week, and slaughter stayed at good level, well over the 600,000-weekly number. The USDA’s Export Sales Report on U.S. raw and wet blue hides released last week for the week ending Thursday, January 9th. was smaller than many expected, while export/shipments in the period were more in line with expectations.
Below are our current per piece FOB plant price quotes for the seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hides:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $39.00 to 40.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $36.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at $26.00 to $28.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
USDA released its Export Sales Report last Thursday for the 7-day period ending January 9, 2020. The report stated that a net 391,800 raw and wet blue U.S. hides sold during that week. The period’s exports/actual shipments number came in at 554,200 pieces.
The USDA estimated Federally Inspected Slaughter (FIS), for the week ending January 18, 2020 was 631,000 cattle. That number is down a little from the prior week’s estimate of 640,000 head. Year to date FIS is down 6.7 % from last year.
We are in the middle of Winter, but the hide market appears to be slowing warming. This, of course must be the result of the finished leather business also heating up a little. We do hope and we do believe that this trend will continue as we move forward in 2020. From all reports, there will be little change in the total number of cattle harvested here in the U.S. this year compared to last, maybe a few more fat cattle and a few fewer Cows going to slaughter. So, there will be again this year plenty of good quality U.S. hides to supply tanners around the world, who rely on these hides to produce their leathers. In closing, we want to wish all our friends in Asia a wonderful, healthy and safe holiday season.
“Give me a millionaire with a bad back swing and I can have a very pleasant afternoon.”
- GEORGE LOW (AKA: AMERICA’S GUEST), on survival in golf