5 May 2022
Our newest Leatherbiz Market Intelligence newsletter went live on May 3 and is available for subscribers to read in the Intelligence section of the website. All China Leather Exhibition In a hard-hitting report, the central message is that the leather industry needs to “reassess” its dependence on China. The growth of the industry in China is leather’s greatest twenty-first century success story and China is now the world’s dominant producer of leather and its largest consumer of leather and leather products. But dependence on China, Market Intelligence says, has been “mistakenly seen as a basis for a secure political and social partnership, but economic interests do not necessarily mean stability”. The context, of course, is the war in Ukraine and the insistence by the authorities in China that ongoing lockdowns are the best way of managing the covid-19 pandemic, no matter the economic cost. Both these factors mean the global market is now greatly lacking in stability and hopes that the challenging times “will simply end one fine day and people will be able to return to the habits of the past” seem ill-founded. “Apart from Russia, some countries are also beginning to rethink their relationship with China,” the report insists. “Here, too, economic dependencies have developed that, on closer examination, must also be judged as risky.” It continues with the suggestion that there is “good news”: the leather sector’s dependency on China is not yet so great for it to be impossible to change course. This is not something that can happen quickly, but global brands are rethinking their strategies and “exploring different production options” is high on their agenda, it says, adding: “It is clearer with each passing day that supply chains have to be rethought.”

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