Dropping demand has seen prices plummet, which could push up fallen stock collection prices.
Falling demand for hides has left the market ‘on its knees’ and continuing to slide south, with falling demand for leather, a lack of demand from China and cheap competition from Europe weighing on the market.
Paul Martland, chairman of the Licensed Animal Slaughterers and Salvage Association, said lack of demand for leather could lead to prices going up for fallen stock collections.
“It is the farmers losing out again,” he said.
And with slaughtered hides available in Spain for less than £3, he said buyers were not interested in casualty hides.
Ian Potter, who runs the administration at the National Fallen Stock Company, said the market was ‘on its knees and continues to slide south’.
“It is hard to imagine it can fall further,” he said.
He said hide values were now at 10 per cent of what they were.
“Reports of very cheap hides coming out of slaughterhouses in southern Europe at under £3 are also depressing prices," said Mr Potter.
“Add to that the fact traditionally the hide market goes on shut down for December and February.”
He added almost zero demand from China meant Europe was ‘awash with hides’.
He said: “Some collectors are storing them but each month they get worth less.
“Ultimately it will have to be reflected in fallen stock collection charges unless other outputs increase in value at the rendering end to compensate.”
Mr Martland added demand had dropped, with fewer people wearing leather.
“Sit down and have a coffee on the high street and watch for people wearing leather shoes. They are not, they are all wearing canvas," he added.
He said slaughter hides were going at between £7-£10 for a cow hide, and ox hides worth in the late £20s to early £30s.
“Knacker hides are worthless and so are sheep skins. I think some abattoirs are being charged,” he said.
“With slaughter hides so low, it is no wonder casualty hides are worth nothing.”
However, there were also complications in this market, with car manufacturers using ‘man-made leather’ rather than genuine leather.