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Australia – Waiting upon positive Chinese tannery news

Published: 18 Mar, 2020

As with all other export origins, the Australian suppliers are waiting for the Chinese buyers to come back on line.
Reports are coming that they are beginning to slowly move containers from holding areas within Chinese ports and transport them inland to tanning areas. But, the thinking is it will be a few months before things return to normal.
Merino sheepskins are still bringing good prices for skins that have 1 to 2 Inches or 2 + inches of wool on them; all short wools under 1/4 inch or sometimes 1/2 inch are being dumped as their value price is less than the processing costs. Continued strong wool prices will underpin the skin business going into the Winter season.
The shorn lamb season is now well underway and same as with sheepskins, anything under 1/2 inch has no value and is being dumped.
It remains a waiting game now, to see if some interest comes from China, but the general feeling is it will be 1 – 2 months before any direction is known.
Widespread rainfall has basically broken drought conditions in Australia, and farmers are concentrating on restocking and ploughing fields to sow crops.
Large increases in meat prices for sheep and lamb in past few weeks have seen some abattoirs reducing production by cutting shifts or closing for 1 – 2 days.
It is going to be an interesting winter in Australia, as meat prices are at near record levels of last season, so a lack of supply might help hold skin prices.
The only other uncertainty, is now the corona virus and what impact it will have on consumers buying sheepskin products on and already depressed market.
As for the bovine market, things are slowly returning to normal on the export front, but as with the ovine market the lack of supply due to high meat returns is keeping prices higher than would normally be the case during these times of uncertainty about the market. For more information click here.

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