16 March 2018

Report on 2017 China’s Leather & Footwear Industry and ACLE2018 Forecasts by CLIA

Economic status of China’s Leather and footwear Industry in 2017


The performance of China’s leather and footwear Industries maintained a growth trend in previous year. The sales revenue generated by leather, fur, finished products and footwear companies was RMB1.37 trillion, increasing by 3.08% from the previous year.


The exports of leather and footwear industry were USD78.7 billion, increasing by 3.11% year-on-year . Among them, leather goods contributed 2.09 percentage points, followed by shoes with 0.97% percentge points.


The imports of leather and footwear industry reached USD9.8 billion, increasing by 10.7% from the previous year, in which footwear contributed 5.49% to the growth of imports, followed by handbags with 4.51%.


Tanning industry

The statistics showed that the sales revenue generated by tanneries with sales income of 20 million or above was RMB159.16 billion, decreasing by 1.57% from the previous year.


The profit achieved a poor performance, decreasing by 6.23% year-on-year with a decrease of 1.98% in terms of growth rate.

The imports of raw hides and skins were 1.25 million tons in qauantity and USD2.2 billion in value, up 0.4% and down 0.3% respectively.


The imports of semi-finished leather were 706,200 tons in quantity and USD1.46 billion in value, increasing by 5.5% and decreasing by 0.4% from the previous year respectively.


Imports of finished leather amounted to 116,800 tons in quantity and USD1.99 billion in terms of value, down by 12% and 4.7% from previous year respectively.


Footwear Industry

The sales revenue generated by footwear manufacturers were RMB773.8 billion, rising by 4.41% from previous year.


Exports of footwear were 9.62 billion pairs and USD45.59 billion in value, up 3.7% and 1.7% from 2016 respectively. At the same time, China imported 139 million pairs of shoes with USD3.20 billion in terms of value, up 23.8% and 18% than previous year respectively.


Among them:

The output of leather shoes reached 4.48 billion pairs, up 1.29% year-on-year, increasing by 0.71% in terms of growth rate.


Exports of leather footwear were 680 million pairs in quantity and USD9.30 billion in value, decreasing by 1.2% and 3.4% respectively, while imports were 37.48 million pairs and USD1.41 billion, showing a decrease of 10% and 6.5% respectively.


Challenges and opportunities in the future

Now, China’s economic development has entered the middle stage of the 13th Five-Year Plan. The economy has been in transition and supply-side reform, which has achieved initial success. China’s GDP growth in 2017 was 6.9%. In the new period, China leather industry faces new challenges as well as opportunities, mainly in the following aspects:


• Due to a slow recovery of the global economy, rising of trade protectionism and the increase of geopolitical uncertainty, the exports of China’s leather industry face great pressure.
• With stricter requirements for pollution control especially in tanning and footwear making, much more upgraded cleaner and pollution control technologies and equipments are needed.
• Increasing cost of the raw materials make margins narrower.
• Explosion of new domestic sales channel.


Although there are big challenges and some turbulence in the economy, fundamentals for economic development remain sound. The country has recognized the important role of mass entrepreneurship and innovation for its future growth.

As for the leather industry itself, positive factors are increasing. Many companies have already invested a lot or are preparing to invest more in innovation and introduce upgraded technologies and machinery while making an effort to deal with industrial pollution and overcapacity. This aim is to change the economic growth model and produce higher value-added products to cope with these challenges.

In addition, many enterprises are making an effort to fully utilise the Internet as an effective tool to transform from the old product-centric sales model to a new customer-oriented and services-based business model.



For the tanning industry, in the next few years, automobile leather and furniture leather will still be the growth point, while the demand for shoe upper leather will remain relatively stable. But the demand for garment leather has reached hit a low point. The output of garment leather can hardly be improved because of the large stock of leather garments,.


For the footwear industry: The development of this industry will recover slowly. The retail market of leather footwear is gradually improving. The market of sports shoes (especially sports casual shoes, elderly walking shoes etc.) will continue to maintain a rapid growth, and the same trend will also happened to womens’ fashion shoes made of synthetic materials.


All China Leather Exhibition 2018 Introdcution

2018 ACLE will keep occupying 8 halls with exhibition space of 92,000 sqm.


The exhibitors come mostly from leather, chemicals, synthetics, footwear components and machineries. As of today, exhibitor presence has achieved very positive results. Many renowned tanneries and chemical companies as well as companies from industrial clusters have confirmed their presence at the fair with larger exhibition spaces. The spaces for finished leather, shoe materials and chemicals has almost sold out.


The CLIA will continually carry out a series of promotional activities among domestic and overseas buyers through multiple channels. These measures will attract more and more buyers to attend ACLE.


Once again, some acivities such as the “CLIA’s annual conference”, “the International Leather Forum 2018″ will take place the day before the fair, and “Outstanding Brands of Eco-leather Mark” will also be displayed in ACLE. In additon, 2018 will witness the 30th anniversary of the founding of the CLIA, and the special “Achievements of CLIA’s 30th Anniversary” will be showed in the exhibition. All the activities and exhibitors will display a large quantity of the latest products and innovative ideas, which will make ACLE much more dynamic.


About APLF

We bring leather, material and fashion businesses together: an opportunity to meet and greet face to face. We bring them from all parts of the world so that they can find fresh partners, discover new customers or suppliers and keep ahead of industry developments.


We organise a number of trade exhibitions which focus on fashion and lifestyle: sectors that are constantly in flux, so visitors and exhibitors alike need to be constantly aware both of the changes around them and those forecast for coming seasons.


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