Our new Leather Pipeline column, published in this week’s Leatherbiz Weekly newsletter, captures the state of the leather industry as it enters a summer season unlike any we’ve experienced before. Leather Pipeline, which can be read in its entirety here, is an exclusive market intelligence report that we publish every two weeks.
As some countries tentatively toy with opening back up, coronavirus spikes in other countries are leading to increasing restrictions. Adding to an already fraught situation, we’re entering the summer months, a time when the entire leather industry is known to dramatically slow down.
This year, our author writes, tanning could come to a complete standstill from the last week of July to the third week in August. An exception might be the automotive industry, where some have reportedly discussed shortening the vacation period to two weeks, but such decisions will be rare.
This week’s report also looks at how lack of predictability and certainty in these unprecedented times continues to prevent vital decision-making up and down the supply chain. For example, big question marks linger over whether there is sufficient salting capacity to handle the hides that will still be slaughtered in many countries, and raw material suppliers are worrying about whether they can handle the input/output balance in coming months.
We need to be willing to start thinking beyond the present moment. “Whatever the decision is, it can be converted into action,” the author writes. “For better or for worse, there are solutions available, may they be favourable or not. No decision is definitely the worst option.