Leatherbiz Weekly’s exclusive market intelligence report, Leather Pipeline, has said the main challenge for the leather pipeline in the coming months is that the gulf between the high-end and low-end of the leather market is growing ever wider.
“The life-cycle of many consumer products has become so short that quality and usability are in the background, despite all the talk about sustainability,” the report says. “If manufacturers want to sell a new pair of shoes every three months and the consumer wants to buy in the same timeframe, there are many reasons why leather will not be the number-one material of choice.”
The price gap between high-quality products that usually require carefully selected raw materials and the raw material for mass production is quickly becoming wider, it continues. The issue has been discussed for almost two years now, when the trend really began to accelerate. However, a solution hasn’t been found yet.
Specific high-quality raw materials still sell at high prices, which are totally justified because of the value of the finished product. At the same time, abattoirs are dumping certain hides and skins because they cannot compete with manmade products. “The key question for the coming year is if there is going to be a recovery in the demand for leather as a material to enable tanners to make use again of a lot of hide and skin resources,” the report concludes.