Historically, 8-10% of the value of the animal has been realised by by-products, known as the total drop credit value ( non -meat by-products of beef production), and the hide has formed the lions share of this typically getting between 6-8% of total value of the animal.

Between 1980 and 2011, hides averaged 58.3% of the total value of cattle by-products for a steer weighing around 1,000 pounds or 450 kilos, LHCA said. This reached a high of 67% in 2000. In 2015, hides accounted for approximately 48% of total by-product value and by 2019, hides comprised nearly 37% of the total drop credit. That figure stood at an estimated 27.7% on March 31, 2020.

At the end of April, a US steer hide had a value closer to 1% of the entire value of the animal. LHCA said this may be the lowest percentage on record.

The price of steer hides has fallen by as much as 49% compared to April 2019. “This has further eroded the hide’s once-dominant share of the steer’s drop credit value,” LHCA said. “Hides presently constitute only 15%-20% of the total by-product value of the animal, a staggering decline from 50% a few years ago.”