Synthetics & Beyond Beef Market Impact on Hide Prices

Synthetics & Beyond Beef Market Impact on Hide Prices

As hide prices remain nominal, Americans seem to have a loss of appeal for the leather and beef industries; however, only select alternative trends are proving their prominence in the market.

Not too long ago, hides were highly desirable for the footwear and automobile markets. At this point in time, the consumer is becoming more interested in using alternatives for leather, such as synthetics, plastics, and microfibers.

High profile brands, such as Tesla and Volkswagen are coming out with new vehicle models which are entirely free of leather. In August of this year, Tesla announced that their Model 3 is 100% leather free. By 2020, the company hopes to have a vegan Model Y, as well. Also, Volkswagen is to release an electric and leather-free, ID.3.

According to the Synthetic Fibers Market Research Report, it is forecasted the worldwide synthetic fibers market is expected to grow at a 7.25% CAGR from 2018 to 2023. A large part of this growth is that the high growing manufacturing economies of China and India are driving up the production in Asia Pacific. Exhibited below is the U.S. Imports for synthetic material from the major shippers in the world. Since the spike in 2014 and 2015, momentum is slowly, but steadily gaining.

Synthetics pose a possible threat for growth in the hides market, but offer opportunities for cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives. The market is seeing this eagerness to find alternatives with the escalating enthusiasm in the plant-based beef options.

As popular restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC, started offering meat-like plant burgers, Beyond Meat (NYSE:BYND) gained significant interest in the equity market. However, this trend has leveled off quickly with Beyond Meat’s stock price reporting down 46% since the end of the third quarter. Once being a new buy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, is now being sold in large portions. Below is Beyond Meat’s stock price since inception in comparison to The Jacobsen Hide Index’s averages for Light, Heavy, and Jumbo selections for Heavy Native Steers. Heavy Native Steers has continued to remain steady despite the volatility of the Beyond Meat trend.

In the supply-side of the trade, tanners and processors have been questioning where the prices are going. Hide prices are remaining relatively steady with hides trading around $26.28 USD, according to the Jacobsen Hide Index. The impact of the synthetic market and beef substitutes will be continuously monitored by The Jacobsen, but for now, leather prices of 2019 remain steady and conservative.

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