Prices during the four-week period ended May 8 slipped further and further as sellers continued to accept lower bids just to keep the market moving. This did mean, however, that packers managed to move the majority of their slaughter.

Heavy Texas steers began the period with asking prices of around $64.50-65 on 60/62lb averages, but some were succumbing to bids as low as $59.50 in mid-May. Branded steers followed a similar pattern, starting the four-week period at asking prices of around $63 on 60/62lb averages, falling to lows of $58 by mid-May.

Butt-branded steer prices fell in relation to heavy Texas with prices decreasing from $62-62.50 to around $60. Heavy Texas steers also followed suit with prices down from $66 to $63. Heavy native heifer supply exceeded demand as many US automotive upholstery tanners had been working a reduced levels.

As the US enters into its slowest season of the year, many believe that prices on all selections could fall even further.

Total raw hides sold for export in the four-week period ending May 8 averaged 429,500. This figure was below the last four-week average but was aided by a busy week in Asia at the beginning of May. South Korea was the most active buyer taking an average 113,125 hides, followed by China with 109,150, Hong Kong with 50,250, Taiwan with 46,500, Mexico with 32,550, Japan with 30,175 and Italy with 25,200. Thailand took an average 15,125 hides, boosted by an above-average total of 21,200 hides for the week ended 24 April.

Wet-blue sales averaged 62,900 and were also boosted by a strong fourth-week total of 103,500. Hong Kong took an average 24,075 wet-blues, followed by Taiwan with 10,925, China with 10,050 and South Korea with 9,550. Weekly wet-blue exports for the four-week period averaged 67,325 and outstanding wet-blue sales averaged 455,150.

Wet-blue split sales averaged 1,873,100lb with Hong Kong the most active buyer with a four-week average of 881,075lb. South Korea took an average 688,525lb, followed by China with 208,775lb and Italy with 61,250lb. Weekly wet-blue split exports averaged 1,594,125lb and outstanding sales averaged 13,914,500lb.