Figures for the first month of the year indicate that trade tensions are affecting exports of cattle hides from the US to China, but an increase in shipments of wet blue to other markets has helped ease the pain.

Exports of wet-salted and wet blue hides from the US brought in total revenues of $110 million in January 2019. Across both categories, the volume of hides was just under 2 million. Compared to January 2018, these figures represent a decline of 19.1% in value and of 7% in volume.

Wet salted shipments achieved $70.2 million in value and 1.6 million in volume in January 2019, down by 31% and 10% respectively year on year.

The figures for wet blue show export values of $39.8 million for the month and volumes of 364,228 hides, which represents an increase of 15% in volume and of 8% in value.

China’s imports of US showed a dramatic decline compared to the figures for January 2018. The value of wet-salted shipments declined by 31% to reach $41.9 million and the volume fell by 7% to 969,791 hides. In terms of wet blue, Chinese tanners and traders imported 68,148 hides with a value of $7.6 million, declines of 33% and 27% respectively.

Exports of wet blue to Italy rose by 38% in value and by 30% in volume, while Vietnam’s purchase of US wet blue in January was up by 66% in value and by 45% in volume.