Lineapelle Asia underway as Italian leather exports fall

The tenth edition of Lineapelle Asia, the exhibition dedicated to leather, accessories and components earmarked for footwear, leather goods, apparel and furnishings takes place in Guangzhou this week. China is the major market for Italian exports, where the main focus is on locally-based, top-end manufacturers. The fair is organised by the Italian Tanners’ Association, UNIC.

Lineapelle Asia takes place November 8-10, at the Guangzhou Exhibition Centre (China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex).

Exhibitors include Italian tanneries and other suppliers of footwear, leather goods, apparel and furnishings. Exhibitors are expecting to get a number of pointers with regards to the prospects on the world’s leading footwear manufacturing market. Expectations seem high, say the fair organisers, given the number and, above all, the level of interest shown by Chinese buyers, who attended Lineapelle in Bologna last month.

The so-called “Greater China” (China + Hong Kong) has been a leading market for exports of Italian-tanned hides for almost twenty years, with a turnover which, in 2011, reached a new record of €745 million, equal to 20% of all exports and 15% of the national turnover within the industry.

Trade in 2012 has been tougher following the delocalisation of multinational footwear and leather goods companies from both Europe and North America from China. Also, there has been a fall in consumer demand in Europe, together with a massive increase in manufacturing costs in Chinese coastal areas. Figures regarding exports of Italian hides to China in the first seven months of 2012 were down by 11% compared with 2011. During the same period, worldwide exports of leather footwear made in China fell by 12%.

Chinese footwear production is still on the up, +8% in the first six months of 2012, thanks to the growth in domestic consumption.

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