Demand falls in Italy

14 August 2002

The Italian market is remembering the end of 2000 as a time when slaughter levels fell 30-40%, and 150,000 head were destroyed, all because of BSE. The problem continued in the first two months of 2001 with a strong decrease in slaughter numbers. As there were no offers of hides and skins on the Italian market, prices remained stable until April, despite prices having previously fallen due to international trends. From May onwards, demand was lower than supply which caused a fall in prices in all categories. In the second half of 2001, tanneries had sufficient supplies and decreased their purchases. Tanners started buying again at the end of September but at much lower prices for both calf and bull. Interest from foreign markets was also lacking. Prices at the end of December 2001, in comparison with the same month in 2000, were down 30% for bull and down 25% for calf. National production is falling by around 22% for both cattle and calf.

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