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European cows – stocks build

Published: 10 Jul, 2019

As we build towards the annual summer tannery shut-downs in Europe, the number of offers being made to Italian tanners has increased. Suppliers look to sell their hides stocks, some are even trying to take a position and offer for September delivery. Cow hides seem to be the most abundant hides that have been offered in the past week, with offers coming from countries far and wide within Europe. It is clear by the sheer number of offers that suppliers have plenty of stock held. Normally most of these cows would have been sold into China on a regular basis through-out the year, but this is not a normal year. With a large tannery in Hebei province (China) already reporting that they will close for the summer to slow down production, and other tanneries in the same area of China reportedly holding large stocks of cows, it has left European suppliers with a head ache of what to do with their cow hides.
One large Italian tanner has stated that, price is not the issue with cows. Suppliers can continue to offer their stock at what appears to be increasingly attractive prices. The fact remains that, whatever price is paid for the raw hides, it will not change the lack of demand for the finished leather. The once buoyant automotive industry that kept the cow market afloat for years, now sees car sales at levels not witnessed for years, along with a public demand that appears to be moving more and more away from leather.
Already, the price paid for green cow hides has fallen as low as €3.00/hide in some countries, how long will it be before cow hides suffer the same fate as some grades of sheepskins?
This is all a remarkable turnaround. Only 6 years ago one abattoir complained in the United Kingdom about ‘only’ receiving £38/hide for their cow hides, when they wanted £40/hide. Now they take £4/hide and not a word is spoken.

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