France – 2019 ended on a more positive note than it started
Published: 08 Jan, 2020
The market mood for bovine hides in 2019 is reported as ending on a more positive note than it started. During the first half of the year demand was weak. The continual fall in hide prices made buyers reluctant to take positions on new purchases. It took until after the summer holidays for hides to find a bottom in the market. With suppliers and buyers accustomed to the new price levels, new business could be done. Today it can be considered that most in the trade are in a more comfortable situation than a year ago.
France has seen a reduction in overall bovine kill numbers during 2019, but this has been easily offset by increased kill in other parts of the world. Tanners are likely to show caution going into 2020. Continued uncertainties surrounding the USA and their application (or not) of tariffs, and the consequences of the United Kingdom now leaving the European Union in the next few weeks, are all elements that are unlikely to allow any significant gains in price during the next few months. Once everyone has some clarity on these issues it is hoped this will bring a positive to prices.
France is currently faced with prolonged strike action against President Macron's pension reforms. This is now having an effect on business. Dockers have been blockading the ports. It is reported as very difficult getting containers in or out of ports and some vessels have not even stopped at French ports, to avoid delays loading / unloading. Hopefully solutions will be found soon. If the blockade continues cashflows will begin to feel the strain!
Calf skins are the most resilient category due to the primary destination being the luxury brand companies. This is forecast to continue.
Ovine skins: sheep, lamb and goat skins have been reported as showing no positives during 2019. This time last year traders were thinking it could not get any worse for these products, but it did. Leather garments are not in fashion. Even the rock bottom prices still do not attract consumers to the product. It is a sad situation at a time when we talk more and more about recycling and durability. Let’s hope this time next year things will have turned around and leather clothing is back in fashion! For further information click here.