U.S.A. Cattle hide and wet blue sales picked up considerably last week. It appeared that a number of tanners, who had been sitting on the sidelines for some time, decided it was time they bought some raw material. The sales prices on all of the Steer hide selections were, for the most part, unchanged. With the volume of business that appeared to have been done on the Steer hide selections last week, packers and processors have strengthened their forward sold positions on these items. We would have to call the FOB plant sales prices for Heavy Native and Butt Branded Steer hide selections steady, with the Native Steers at $95.00 to $96.00 and the Butt Branded Steers at $94.00 to $95.00. The sale prices for the Colorado Branded Steer and Heavy Texas Steer hide selections were wider in range. Collies were being reported as selling between $80.00 and $83.00 per piece FOB plant and Heavy Texas Steer hides were sold in a $80.00 to $84.00 FOB plant range. Dairy Cow hide sales picked up last week as more buyers entered the market. Dairy Cow hide sales prices, like the Steer hide selections, remained basically steady with the previous week’s traded levels. Trading of Plump Cow hides remained limited due to low slaughter numbers here in the U.S. and lack of buyer interest. The lack of buyer interest is mainly due to the environmental problems the Cow hide tanners in some parts of northern China continue to have. These issues don’t appear as if they are going away, and they will persist until either improvements are made in those affected tanning areas, or the leather orders these tanners have been filling in recent years are moved to other tanning areas.
The Export Sales Report released by the USDA on May 14, 2015 for sales made during the one week period ending May 7, 2015, stated that 495,100 cattle hides and wet blue equivalents were sold for export during the period. This number was significantly lower than the previous weeks reported sales number of 681,100 units. China/Hong Kong the number one buyer bought 314,000 hides & wet blue equivalents. Korea again was the number two buyer, taking 89,900 pieces.
The Federally Inspected Slaughter (FIS) for the week ending Saturday May 16, 2015 was an estimated 569,000 cattle, up slightly from previous week’s estimated FIS of 567,000 head. The FIS for that same week last year was 595,751 cattle. Year to date the FIS is down 7.3 percent or 806,000 cattle.
It can be said that U.S. Steer hide prices found a bottom last week. Is it a temporary bottom, who knows? For now we expect supplier’s asking prices for all the U.S. Steer hide selections will be higher this week. The bigger question is, will tanners pay more for these Steer hides than they have over the last couple of weeks? Our guess is yes, Steer hide prices will bounce up $1.00 or $2.00 in the near term. We expect that plump Cow hide values, both Native and Branded, will also move slightly higher because of the upward movement in the Steer hide prices and the fact that production will remain on the lower side. Dairy Cow hides found a decent amount of business but the prices tanners wanted to pay seemed to be directly related to the weight of the hides being offered. The heavier the Dairy Cow hides being offered the more quickly they were sold. We understand that offers on European Cow hides, which compete in the market with the U.S. Cow hides, have been limited and more highly priced as slaughter in Europe is on its seasonal decline. This fact should be a plus for U.S. Cow hide prices going forward. The bottoming of the hide market could well help tanners in their negotiations with their leather customers.
- A true sportsman never picks up lost golf balls until they stop rolling.
- Hacker: With my score today I will not be able to hold my head up.
- Caddie: Why not? You’ve been doing it all afternoon.