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Germany – Heavier cattle supply good for upholstery leather

Published: 13 Jan, 2021

Many hide suppliers came into the New Year with the thought that maybe now was the time to start to push prices a little higher, if only to test the water and the opinions of tanners, both within Europe and the Far East. Indeed, some had already sent out their new offer lists to Chinese tanners, ready for the first day back behind their desks. But before tanners had even a chance to talk or counter the offers, news began to break of another Coronavirus outbreak within China. For Chinese officials to actually admit to an outbreak just goes to show how big it must be, for there have been many similar stories over the past year that have gone without official confirmation. With this news, any idea of price increases stopped, and sellers tried to sell at levels that replicated those prior to Christmas. But the outbreak in the Wuji tanning area seemed to have spooked many tanners in other parts of China, who either want to sit back and see how things develop, or will use this opportunity to try and bring prices back. The only German hide price increases that have been reported are some weights of bull hides from both the Northern and Southern regions in Germany, required for the automotive industry, which remains the only real shining light in the finished leather trade. All other prices are being called as stand-on for now. The slaughter remains low as is to be expected in a country that remains under Covid restrictions until at least the end of January, although the weights of the hides coming through are well up on normal, a knock-on effect of a lower slaughter during 2020, meaning cattle spent more time in the fields. The focus for most suppliers now is not completing new contracts, but watching the situation in China, and trying to make sure existing contracts are fulfilled.

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