Last week was yet another week which contained plenty of activity in the U.S. hide market. The offer lists put out by suppliers early in the week contained a good amount of product. The only selection noticeably absent on those lists were Holstein Steer hides. Any bids which were not up to last traded levels were then countered by producers. By weeks end, as has been the case for what feels like month now, a good amount of sales was put on the books at steady money or slightly higher levels. There were reports of heavy average, short freight, Branded Steer hides being sold at a considerably higher price. On the other hand, the Native Steer hide selection seemed to be under some pressure last week. So, taking all this into consideration, we are still going to call the market for U.S. Plump Steer hides steady. Pretty much the same thing can be said about the U.S. Cow hide market. There was enough interest on the U.S. Dairy Cow hides to keep their market prices at steady levels. Interest in the Plump Cow hide selections were at steady to slightly lower prices, but as far as we could tell, the lower bids were refused by sellers. The USDA Export Sales number reported last week for the prior week’s sales of raw and wet blued cattle hides came in at a decent number, but nothing for U.S. hide suppliers to get excited about. U.S. cattle slaughter last week was on the high end of what we would call our expected weekly slaughter number range for this fall. It is a good time to be a beef packer, but things are not great for producers or cattle feeders.
Our quotes on the current per piece FOB plant values of the seasonal average weight Big Packer Steer hides are as follows:
- Heavy Native Steer hides at $39.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Butt Branded Steer hides at $36.00 to $36.50 per piece, unchanged for the week.
- Heavy Texas Steer hides at $26.00 to 27.00 per piece, unchanged for the week.
The USDA’s released last Thursday, October 31th its Export Sales Report for the week ending Thursday, October 24th. The report stated that 554,200 pieces of raw and wet blue cattle hides were sold for export during that 7-day period. This number is down from the 756,300 pieces reported sold the previous week. The largest percentage of the pieces sold were to China which booked 314,000 units. The next biggest buyer was Korea with 72,300 pieces purchased.
The USDA estimated Federally Inspected Slaughter (FIS), for the week ending Saturday, November 2, 2019, was 655,000 head of cattle. This number is slightly above the 653,036 head reported slaughtered during the same week a year ago. Year to date the estimated FIS is 291,000 head or up 1.1 % from a year ago.
We have been saying for some time now that hide prices have to move up or down, as markets by nature need to move up and down. But here we sit on Monday morning with last week being another week of steady, steady, U.S. hide prices. So, we again expect hide values to change this week. We want to think that U.S. hide prices will move higher. If that is the case, it would indicate that the finished leather business is improving, which is what the world’s hide suppliers really want to see. We hope that will be the case. Have a good week.
Golfers on Lee Trevino
“If conversation was fertilizer, Trevino would be up to his ass in grass all the time.”
“If he didn’t have an Adam’s apple, he’d have no shape at all.”