Virtual APLF Brings International Suppliers to Three Main Tanning Regions
In view of the current situation which prevents buyers from attending physical exhibitions, APLF will continue to support the tanning industry by organising a series of online events for the Chinese, Indian and African/Middle East markets.
The virtual events will bring together international suppliers mainly in the chemical, machinery, raw hide/ skins and footwear components sectors. Testing and accreditation companies will also be present so as to facilitate the operations of local tanners and manufacturing sectors.
For three consecutive weeks, buyers from China (20-21 January 2021), India (28-29 January 2021) and Africa/Middle East (3-4 February 2021) will be able to log in to the online platform to meet new suppliers, source new products and attend webinars with a similar experience to participating in a real event.
The Support of Local Associations
The three Virtual APLF Events have received excellent support from the local leather associations – Council for Leather Exports of India (CLE), China Leather Industry Association (CLIA) and the African Tanning associations which support the Pan African Leather Fair (PALF) in Egypt which will be held in 2022.
Strong Recovery in China Leather Market
The Chinese domestic market has recovered well from COVID-19. From January to August 2020, the total import value of leather products reached USD8.89 billion, with 850,000 tons of raw hides and 312,000 tons of semi-finished leather being imported.
The strong consumer market has also boosted demand for leather, and stimulated the import of raw materials, tanning chemicals, machinery, shoe materials and other related products. Revenue in the leather footwear segment amounted to USD9,800 million in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 2.9%.
Market Advantage of the Indian Tanning Industry
India accounts for 13% of global production of hides & skins and is home to 20% of the world’s cattle and buffalo population and 11% of the world’s goats and sheep. With an abundance of raw materials, 3 billion sq. ft. of leather are produced annually in India.
Before COVID-19, exports of footwear, leather and leather products from India reached USD 5 billion – as the second largest producer of footwear and garments, and the second largest exporter of leather garments and third largest exporter of saddlery and harnesses. The situation is boosted by trade agreements with Japan, Korea, ASEAN and Chile among others. There are on-going negotiations of free trade agreements with the European Union and Australia.
Africa and Middle East, the Land of Natural Resources
Africa accounts for 26.3% share of the world’s livestock population, and 14% of the world leather and hides originate from this continent. Annual footwear demand reached 800 million pairs, and leather goods imported to the UAE (USD2,000 million), Saudi Arabia (USD1,000 million), Tunisia (USD800 million), Kuwait (USD400 million) and Egypt (USD200 million) are strong indications that this region should not be neglected as an export market.
In Egypt, where the Pan African Leather Exhibition is to be held, there are nearly 300 tanneries, exporting USD119.7 million of leather per year, which is augmented by tariff-free access to 62 markets around the world.
Words from Our Supporting Partners
Mr Li Yuzhong, Chairman of CLIA said, “It is expected that there will be rapid growth in the next few months. The Chinese consumer market is making a steady recovery and in view of consumers’ recognition of online shopping and payments, brick-and-mortar establishments that sell products such as shoes, hats, bags, apparel, furniture and automobiles are actively adopting new marketing models, such as webcasting.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman of CLE, mentioned, “The Council for Leather Exports and APLF have been close partners for many years. APLF is an especially important exhibition for the Indian tanning and leathergoods industry, both as a platform for exporting and sourcing. So, it is a great honour for me to partner with APLF this year to organise this Virtual Event, where CLE members and local manufacturers will participate and meet suppliers from all corners of the world – just as we did in Hong Kong.”