Buying interest was decent most of this week from tanneries, but most buyers were not willing to pay more money for hides even though packers are holding a very firm tone on some selections such as BBS and HNS.
Many believe this active market will not last long and it will soon come back to quiet when the packers begin to make offers for February/March shipment. Some tanners have been active buyers over the past few weeks because they think it might be the last chance to get hides before the winter season. Also, some buyers who stayed out of the market for too long now need buy some hides even though the leather demand remains slow for many of them.
Most buyers bid below $60 for HTS and between $60-$65 for BBS and HNS C&F. Meanwhile, some packers have started to increase the price for HTS over $60 and BBS/HNS over $65. Several agents reported they were not able to get any HTS sold at $60 or higher this week. Apparently, some packers are feeling more bullish this week than previous weeks; however, most buyers are not feeling the same way.
The major packers made similar offers as last week. Heavy native and butt branded steers are still the most popular items buyers prefer. Some heavy Texas steers and most Colorado branded steers remain difficult to find many buyers.
Few buyers were willing to pay US$2-$3 more for the packer hides they wanted and many insisted they can only pay the same price as they did for last business. Also, many buyers claimed that they were buying hides only because they wanted to have a supply of best-season hides in hand before winter time comes, not because the leather demand has improved. Some people are quick to point out that we will see a very quiet market again in late November or early December while the packers begin to make new offers with real winter time shipments. Most buyers would walk away by then unless they have new leather orders and must keep buying hides. The quality of the leather out of American packer hides remains an issue for some shoe leather producers and a few have turned to European hides to match their grading requirements.
In general, many people in the China market do not believe the American hide market has finally grounded and will begin to go up. Their feeling is this market still lacks enough energy to move up while the primary market for American steer hides—the shoe leather business—remains slow in China. Price from US$55-$60 for CBS/HTS and US$62-$65 for BBS/HNS are reported, with a few good quality HNS sold close to $70. Several packers tried, but failed to get $70+ booked for HNS.