U.S. Steer hide suppliers sold enough product last week to keep market prices basically unchanged. The number of tanners bidding would suggest that those Steer hide producers could have sold much more than a week’s production if they were interested in accepting the many bids that were at steady or lower than last traded levels. But suppliers did not accept these lower prices. U.S. Cow hide suppliers were in the same situation as the U.S. Steer hide suppliers. There were a good number of tanners bidding for Cow hides- both for the Plump and Dairy types. But, as was the case with Steer hides, it was very difficult to get those tanners to pay up money for any selection. Of course, there were exceptions where Cow sellers were able to obtain some slight sale price increase. One thing that was obvious and has been obvious for the last few weeks is that currently the demand for Holstein Steer hides is exceeding supply. This situation has, for sure, separated the Dairy Steer selection from the pack. While other Steer hide selections have seen their values remand stagnate for some time now, the Holstein Steer hides have seen their value jump up by several dollars over the last few weeks. The weekly U.S. Export Sales and Exports numbers for U.S. raw and wet blue hides that are published by the USDA remain at decent levels when averaged. So, product is moving, and we believe all U.S. raw and wet blue marketers would say if asked that they are satisfied with their current sold positions and inventory levels. The thing that most U.S. hide suppliers would say is frustrating them most is their not being able to get hide prices out of the current low ranges, especially Cow hide suppliers.
Here are what we are calling the per piece FOB plant prices for seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hides at the close of business last week:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $38.00 to $39.00 per piece, up $0.50 for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $35.00 to $36.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at $26.00 to 27.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
The USDA released its Export Sales Report for the week ending Thursday, November 14th. The report showed that 570,400 raw and wet blue U.S. cattle hides were sold for export during that week. This number is somewhat higher than the 603,100 pieces reported to have been sold the previous week. China was credited with buying 305,400 of the pieces sold. This translates to a little over half of the units traded in the period being taken by China. Korea was the number two buyer taking 94,900 pieces, all of which were raw hides.
The USDA estimated Federally Inspected Slaughter (FIS), for the week ending Saturday, November 23, 2019, was at 662,000 cattle. This total is up from the 657,000 head estimated to have been processed during the prior week.
With this being Thanksgiving Day week in the U.S., we expect activity in the U.S. hide market to slow considerably. All Beef packers will all be closed this Thursday as will most all business in the States. And, we expect that most involved in the marketing of hides will also be out of their offices Friday as they expand the holiday into a four-day weekend to spend time with family. Thanksgiving is the number one family holiday in the U.S. We should never forget that we all have much to be thankful for regardless of the state of the hide market.
“I like to have something riding when I play. Not big money. But there’s got to be some kind of pressure, to make me feel like I’m competing. It goes back to us all essentially being animals. We all have that instinct to be a little better than the animal next to us.”
- Legionary Quarterback Joe Namath