The market for ox hides has changed little in recent weeks, according to The Sauer Report, although price reductions might be expected if Chinese buying remains weak. Italian tanners are reported to be well stocked, but with reduced sales orders of their own. Currently heavy Ox hides at 36kg and over are trading for around 87p/kg which is down from £1.15/kg in August last year.

However, UK suppliers are continuing to make deliveries where space allows. Deliveries are likely to slow when Italian tanneries take their summer break from mid-July.

The Sauer Report also notes that Australian hide traders see no real Chinese market to sell into. Better quality US steer hides, more often with no scratches, can apparently still find a limited home in the better automotive and upholstery markets in China.

Lead analyst at AHDB, Duncan Wyatt, said: “Compared with US and European hides, Australian hides are generally deemed lower quality, and are more often bought by tanners in northern China. Those tanners were, or still are shut down because of Covid-19, or face weak demand for the same reason.”