The Australian lamb and sheep skin markets have been focused solely on China for the past few months with Russia on the sidelines due to their economic issues and threat of further sanctions. Some hope has been seen for a resumption of trade with Russia with early signs of winter. Chinese buyers have been very active in Merino markets and some types of Spring Lambs. Overall the spring lamb market has been steady around 12-14 USD with most interest in double face and footwear types. Merino and dense wool Spring Lambs also in demand. Spring lambs have been smaller this year so far due to low rainfall during September. Bigger skins starting to appear and hopefully November will produce larger skins.

United States

Sellers are fighting back and as it seems not without result. Surprisingly quite some steer selections could be sold at higher prices again and the number of sales reported is considerable. It shows that there are sellers giving in to lower bids but others resist and some of those even managed to sell at higher levels. Honestly speaking it is all quite sudden and somewhat confusing. We have no idea where we shall go from here and prefer to wait till tomorrow or next week before uttering an opinion. For the cow sector the situation shows no mysteries. The cow market remains weak. U.S. Export Sales For Week Ending 10/16/2014 Hides and Skins: Net sales of 398,700 pieces were up 26 percent from the previous week and 19 percent from the prior 4-week average. Whole cattle hide sales of 396,900 pieces were primarily for China (293,900 pieces), South Korea (67,700 pieces), Thailand (9,500 pieces), Mexico (6,400 pieces), and Germany (4,600 pieces). Shipments of 303,900 pieces were down 14 percent from the previous week and 18 percent from the prior 4-week average. Whole cattle hide exports of 299,800 pieces were primarily to China (197,800 pieces), South Korea (50,100 pieces), Mexico (16,000 pieces), Thailand (10,200 pieces), and Taiwan (8,600 pieces). Net sales of 47,700 wet blues for 2014 were down 24 percent from the previous week and 76 percent from the prior 4-week average. Increases were reported for China (18,500 grain splits and 8,400 unsplit), Italy (8,600 unsplit and 100 grain splits), Hong Kong (6,000 grain splits), and Vietnam (3,100 unsplit). Decreases were reported for the Dominican Republic (1,200 unsplit), Taiwan (1,000 unsplit), and South Korea (200 unsplit and 100 grain splits). Net sales of 13,500 wet blues for 2015 were reported for China. Shipments of 118,100 wet blues were primarily to China (30,900 unsplit and 5,300 grain splits), Italy (24,000 unsplit and 5,700 grain splits), Mexico (18,600 grain splits and 2,100 unsplit), and Taiwan (13,200 unsplit). Net sales splits totaling of 615,700 pounds for 2014 were for South Korea (360,900 pounds), Hong Kong (121,300 pounds), Italy (80,800 pounds), and Taiwan (50,000 pounds). Shipments of 798,800 pounds were reported to South Korea (668,000 pounds), Italy (80,800 pounds), and Hong Kong (50,000 pounds). Raw hide sales for week ending 16 October were not bad and not super but only China and Korea really counted as buyers. Wet-blue sales have been miserable over the last two weeks with only China taking a number worth mentioning. 

Leather Furniture

From the High Point furniture fair in North Carolina (the biggest furniture fair in the world) quite a few well known furniture names report increased interest for the better end sofa sets using top grain leather! This is good news indeed. The more since for the lesser quality furniture on the Chinese market demand has only decreased as we reported earlier this week. Full grain leathers enjoy renewed demand since buyers clearly see the quality difference with the other materials that are being offered. And there seems to be money around to spend on expensive furniture. If this new interest really takes off, we might see the makers get into competition with for instance the car leather makers to obtain the better hides needed to make these leathers. And that would have consequences on the raw hide markets. Interesting!

Company news

United States – Sports and athletic shoe brand Skechers reports a big sales gain of 30% to 674.3 million dollars for Q3 when compared to the same period last year. Profits almost doubled. Comparable store sales were up 11%. The results beat predictions.