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West Africa sources Kenyan hides for human consumption

Published: 09 Jan, 2019

The local hide market has taken on a (relatively) new twist which is on one side handing a helping hand to the ailing raw hide business, but further throwing the local tanning industry in disarray. theSauerReport reported in November in relation to a neighbouring country (Tanzania), that hides, having reached rock-bottom prices, were finding their way to West-African countries for human consumption. This appears as an increasing phenomenon in 2018 having now reached Kenya, a long-time tanning and export hub for East-African hides.

According to a local trader, the trend has reached such a dimension that the price of local raw hides has stopped falling and has instead started rising. Though it is difficult to quantify its impact on the give-away level that local prices had reached, it is creating yet another problem for tanners, who are facing a strong pressure for cheaper leather (incl. wet-blue) and a general lack of demand. The trade is being described as going from bad to worse and prices of wet-blue, lowered by another US$ยข5/sq ft over the past month, having dropped by 35-40% over the course of 2018.

The market of small skins, while not suffering from the same problem, remains besieged by the general weak demand. A steep mark down for the local better selections of wet-blue goats was recorded in December, and down by a third since their peak in February-March. While less hopes were pinned on the sheepskin trade for 2018, their market melt-down continued with prices down another US$2-3/dzn in December and an overall 30% decline since January.

Lower grade hides and skins managed to better withstand the pressure on prices in the past few months, as they continue to be in sufficient demand in the Indian sub-continent for the gloving industry in Kolkata (India) among the most active buyers. The latest offers of wet-blue hides and skins can be found inside the report. For more information click here.

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