Doom and gloom in the hide market

1 August 2005

Doom and gloom seems to pervade the hide market these days. The kills in Ireland have been low but this has been matched by prices. In June, it was reported by some sellers that Italian buyers were delaying shipment of hides booked for July to September. There were further reports of some Italian tanners taking their holidays earlier than planned and shutting down from mid July until early September. Further pressure was brought to bear on the market by the fall in prices achieved for wet-blue drop splits. Cheap imports from South America have been blamed for this. The situation in France, though mainly affecting the skin market, has also had repercussions on the hide market in terms of overall confidence in the vibrancy of the leather business. The only bright spot has been for the Irish barley bull production which has attracted a significant premium over normal hides and for some limited interest in Irish heavy cows that can be exported in the wet-salted state. On the home front, the department of agriculture in Northern Ireland has issued a directive to abattoirs which do not handle their hides and skins on site that they must deal only with licensed hide and skin processors from July 1, 2005. In the Republic of Ireland, licence applications are being processed at present and it is expected that a similar edict will be issued by the Irish department of agriculture but, at the time of writing, the timetable for this is unclear. However, it is very clear that customers for hides and skins from Ireland should check that their suppliers are licensed or are in the process of being licensed. Back to prices which drifted lower into early June and were as follows: 36kg+ .................................. 72p 31/35.5.................................. 82p 26/30.5.................................. 90p 22/25.5.................................. 95p The low market remains under pressure with green prices of £12.50 per hide reported. The new season doubleface lambskins began surfacing in large numbers by mid May and the first deals were done at £3.10 del Türkiye. However, there has been pressure on this market due to a lack of Turkish customers and quotes of £2.75 were reported for the end of June. The old season material has been generally cleared out of the system.

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