Some positive signs emerge from the tanning export data from Brazil, US and Spain, which is a good sign given the 16 months of pandemic. But the trend remains “challenging”, because there are other complexities to be taken into account for the period. In some cases, purchases have recovered, but very sporadically. There is no solid recovery though, for reference market and types of products.
Let’s start with the USA
LHCA, the Leather & Hide Council of America, reported that export of fresh or salted leather increased by 59% in volume and 26% in value, mostly thanks to the recovery in China and Hong Kong (+50% in value), Mexico (+36%) and Korea (+7%). The same fortune didn’t reach wet blue hides, as volume remains unchanged, and value lost 4% overall. With regards to semi-finished leather, Italy, which has been one of the main buyers of the USA for a number of years, reduced its purchases by 14% on yearly base.
While Spain’s tanning segment can smile, it’s only due to foreign revenue from semi-finished leather, which reached 15.6 million euro in sales for the 1st quarter and +7% on yearly base. With regards to other segments, Lederpiel says that exports of raw materials for the tanning segment lost about 9% (35.1 million euro), while finished leather (74.9 million) recorded a -13.5%. if the comparison is done on the first quarter of 2019, the outcomes are even worse. The 53.4 million euro of positive balance between export and, due to the lower imports, disappeared. Italy, meanwhile, remains the top client for all product types.
Given the latest data, Brazil is probably the country with the best performance. According to CICB, export of finished leather in May increased by 56.3% in value, +26% for semi-finished and +0.4% for salted hides. Compared to the first 4 months of the year, a small slowdown occurred, but the results from May still bring the balance for salted leather, for the first 5 months, to +82%, wet blue by +57% and finished leather by +32%. Behind the increments are the purchases made by the USA, China and Italy.