In information published by David Peters of DLP Advisors figures on the sending of low grade hides to the landfill are mentioned. These are hides whose cost of processing is higher than their final sales value when partly tanned.
Mr. Peters mentions that of the 300 million hides (approximately) produced per year, 18% or 54 million are currently being sent to landfill as they simply have no value.
The hide surplus is due to an increase in animal slaughter propelled by accelerating red meat demand and the decline in demand for leather, especially in the footwear sector. The sneaker boom and the synthetics used to manufacture this casual /sports/athleisure style has taken market share from this traditional bastion of leather usage.
The halt in the fall in hide prices in the US market could well have been influenced by so many hides being sent to landfill but with slaughter still high in the US (around 650,000 head per week) and export sales and shipments still lagging, there is little sign that the dispatching of low-grade material to landfill will stop in the immediate future.
There is already enough of a problem with plastic in landfill causing environmental and climate problems – but that is another story.