At the beginning of the year some hide suppliers had even taken lower prices than their previous confirmed contracts, as they anticipated that perhaps the heat had come out of the market and a period of price correction was just around the corner. However, according to theSauerReport this looks like it was a false dawn, with many of the lower prices taken, quickly being reversed by the new sales for the early part of this year. In fact, the demand added to a reduced supply has meant that many have sold at their highest prices for over 12 months. The Hebei province problems have brought a halt to any more sales in that area, but indications are that once we are past the Chinese New Year, and hopefully production starts again in that area, then the bullish state of this particular segment of the market looks set to remain. Demand appears to be driven by demand for hides suited for upholstery leathers and it should be pointed out that while prices for some selections have firmed in recent months, they are still at historically low levels and global demand for leather remains fragile.