1 April 2022

Rumors about the Italian tanning industry have also reached the German press. Because the war in Ukraine, with the consequent sanctions against Russia, this complicates even more the macro-economic scenario in which companies in the leather sector operate. That already came from a (long) stressful season on the price lists of raw materials, auxiliaries, and energy. Fabrizio Nuti, president of UNIC – Italian Tanneries and of the Nuti Ivo Group, explains this to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Report by La Conceria.



Conversation with the German press
For the readers of a general newspaper, the matter is new. Those who follow La Conceria, on the other hand, are familiar with the scenario: the leather market is suffering from the rise in price lists, while the war in Eastern Europe places a new bottleneck on the supply chain. The situation is not sustainable.

“Italian tanneries are mostly small in size – explains Nuti -. More than 90% of our raw material needs are met by imports. If even a single supply region fails, there is a big problem”. For this reason, the stop on imports from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus opens up to a crisis scenario. Companies now, pending the next negotiations, must bear the increased costs by accepting a ” lower profit margin “. But this cannot be the solution.

The debate
The leather situation must also be read in a global context. The European one moves within certain quality standards and certain legal obligations (with consequent prices). Competition from Asia can afford to operate in lighter and cheaper frames. For this reason, UNIC, together with the European Tannery Body, Cotance, does not underestimate the possibility of asking the European institutions for restrictions on the export of continental raw materials. On the other hand, observes Gustavo Gonzalez Quijano (secretary general of Cotance), the EU is already conditioning the market for raw and semi-finished hides.

It does so when he asks EU companies to limit imports from regions at risk of deforestation or when, with its agricultural policies, it discourages community animal husbandry. In the world there are numerous leather supply chains protected by the relevant national governments: Europe has never done it, but this does not mean that it cannot start now. Andreas Meyer of the German VDL does not say he is convinced of the goodness of the proposal. But, meanwhile, this is on the table.

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