Situation of the leather area, first half of 2016 has been hard going: foreign demand down, but automotive and upholstery on the up. Fabrics and substitutes doing well

Drops in leather demand at both domestic (-2.1% in value) and foreign (-4.9%) level. The general slowdown forces the Italian tanning industry to deal with a first half of 2016 with the handbrake on: the value of Italian production decreases by 4.1% in value. Foreign sales make up about 75% of total turnover: France is the top performer in the first half of the year, with imports rising by 19.2% in value; on the podium with the transalpine market are the United States (+10.1%) and India (+18.9%). Poor performance, however, by the Chinese area which, with no differences between Hong Kong and mainland China, loses 20.5%. Looking at the impact on the districts, the Tuscan one holds thanks to the recovery in calfskin, Veneto sees a slowdown in growth, but is stable, while Campania feels the effects of the declining trend in sheepskin and goatskin. Going back to an overall vision, while the sector has been damaged by the negative trend when it comes to large cattle hides, there are good results for calfskin (which has already been mentioned), pigskin and reptile skin. The other sectors in the leather area are following similar tracks. Manufacturers of textiles and substitutes are seeing a positive trend (+1.9%), as are those of accessories (+1.1%), while the footwear components sector records a marginal decline. Exports of regenerated leather drop dramatically (-14%), while soles and bottoms are stable and the dynamic synthetics area stands out (+7%). The Italian tanning industry remains a global leader: it accounts for 65% of EU revenues and 19% of global ones. (rp)


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