Leather Export to Grow in FY13

Owing to a slump in demand from the European markets, India’s leather and leather items exports are likely to grow sluggishly during 2012-13.

India’s leather sector is expected to achieve an export growth rate of 18 percent during the current fiscal, but the projected growth for the next fiscal is around 10 percent, Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Executive Director, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), said.

The sector’s exports are expected to touch US$ 4.5 billon by close of this fiscal, up from last fiscal’s exports worth US$ 3.8 billion. However, it would still fall short of the estimated target of US$ 4.7 billion, Mr. Gupta said while addressing a meeting held to announce the 17th International Leather Goods Fair (ILGF).

The country’s leather industry is also exploring other markets like Japan, Africa, Southeast Asia, Korea and Latin America, he said.

The West Asian markets are presently influenced by Chinese leather items, which usually are machine-made, Paresh Rajda, Regional Chairman, Council for Leather Exports (CLE), said.

Till recently, Europe was India’s sole largest leather export destination, but now other markets such as Latin America and the US have also started to pick up, Mr. Rajda said and added that they are also trying to penetrate in the Southeast Asian markets, which is presently dominated by Chinese goods.

India’s overall leather market is estimated to be worth US$ 8 billion, with exports constituting around US$ 4.5 billion of the same. Leather shoes and footwear constitute around 47 percent of India’s overall leather exports, while other leather products constitute around 28 percent of the same, Mr. Gupta said.

About 46 firms are participating in the three-day ILGF, which has been jointly organized by ITPO, CLE and Indian Leather Products Association.

Buyers from countries like Cyprus, Germany, Canada, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius are also attending the fair.

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