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U.S. wet-blue prices still weak

Wet-blue prices have remained largely within previous ranges seen over the course of the past three weeks. If anything, pricelists of cows appear more populated, supporting the idea that their market is sluggish. Recent record slaughter numbers could also play a role. Cowhide prices have remained unchanged. Somewhat more varied is the situation for steers, for which better selections are offered at US$1-2/hide above or below the previous quotes, with no clear trend emerging up or down. However, cheaper branded steers are offered as much as US$3/hide lower. Also weak are heifers, with asking prices down by US$2/hide. Generally, wet-blue offers mirror the trends seen for wet-salted hides, hovering around the same level for several weeks and no end from the deadlock in sight.

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Low kill impact on prices

United States

Business at the beginning of August remained slow in general. Over the week ending August 1, steer hides made some small gains while cows remained mostly steady. The quantities sold at higher prices are thought to be very modest. Heavy Native Steers and Branded Heifers showed higher prices, while the rest remained unchanged. In the week ending July 19 the official USDA weekly cow kill was above 100,000 for the first time in six weeks. Let us see if this upward movement will continue, but already two or three major bovine slaughter plants have closed down and it is expected this figure will double before the end of the year.