Data from LHCA doesn’t show a positive picture of the first 8 months for US leather. In fact, exports of fresh and salted leather, as well as wet blue, are all down compared to previous periods. Within the general trend though, Italian purchases shine. The country’s tanneries are (and have been) among the main clients for US suppliers, especially for semi-finished leather. In 2022, they confirm themselves as precious customers.
Where do Italian purchases shine
Let’s start with data tied to raw hides exports (fresh or salted). The tables published by the association of US traders show a 11% decrease in volume (2.6 million hides) and -5% in value (281 million euro). The slowdown is mainly caused by the lower purchases made by buyers for the category, with China and Hong Kong recording -25% and -16% respectively. And so, as the performance of a large commercial partner such as Mexico doesn’t help (-19% in volume and just +3% in value), the positive notes are to be found elsewhere: Europe’s purchases are +89% and +87% respectively for volume and value, with Italy being the top buyer. Shipments for other destinations in Asia, such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam and India are also breathing air to the system.
Wet blue presence
During the first 8 months of the year, wet blue didn’t suffer as much as other categories, though it remains in the red. Overall sales amounted to 2.6 million pieces of leather (-6%) for a value of 286 million USD (-3%). China and Hong Kong heavily impacted this category as well (-19% and -12%). Yet, in this case as well, the Old Continent continues to surprise, with Italy leading the way. With 863.4 million hides (+21%) and 87.6 million USD (+18%), the aforementioned country is the top client, in terms of volume, value and stability of purchases.