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Leather exports from India: Going strong!

IBEF, Knowledge Centre

Jul 26, 2018 15:07

Leather is a prominent industry in India. The main sectors from which its demand is derived are fashion, footwear, furniture, interiors and automotive. While the Indian leather totals upto 13 percent of the world’s total production of skins, around 10 percent of world’s footwear production also comes from India. India’s leather industry is bestowed with skilled manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards and the support of allied industries.

The major production centers for leather and leather products in India are located in the States of  Tamil Nadu – Chennai,Ambur, Ranipet, Vaniyambadi, Vellore, Pernambut, Trichy, Dindigul and Erode; West Bengal – Kolkata ; Uttar Pradesh – Kanpur, Agra, Noida, Saharanpur; Maharashtra – Mumbai;  Punjab – Jallandhar; Karnataka – Bangalore; Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad; Haryana – Ambala, Gurgaon, Panchkula, Karnal and Faridabad; Delhi; Madhya Pradesh – Dewas; Kerala – Calicut and Ernakulam/Cochin; Rajasthan; Jaipur and Jammu & Kashmir.

Leather exports

Leather is one of the most widely traded items in the world. Leather exports from India comprise of raw-hide skins, finished leather, leather goods, leather garments, leather footwear component, saddlery and harness. India is the second largest exporter of leather garments and third largest exporter of saddlery and harness in the world.

In India, the leather is prepared from the raw-hide skin of different animals like buffalo, goat, cow and sheep. Majorly, buffalo skin and goat skin are used to make leather products that are exported to the other countries. It is recorded that from total leather exports 40 percent of buffalo and 30 percent of goat rawhide skins are used for leather.

As per the official data, the exports of leather and leather products for April-Jun 2018 have touched USD 1420 million. Product-wise share of different leather categories during the same period is as depicted below:

Leather exports for April – June 2018, Product-wise share

As per Indian leather export data, the country is exporting this product from its 15 different states. These are also the largest leather producing states in India. Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are the largest states from where India exports leather and recorded share value of 50 percent and 40 percent respectively. It is followed by West Bengal (4 percent), Maharashtra (3 percent) and Himachal Pradesh (1 percent).

Further, the leather export of India is done through 21 different Indian ports including air, land and sea. Chennai air is the biggest port departing maximum leather shipments and records around 40 percent of shipments from the total exports. Chennai air is followed by JNPT, Mumbai. Indian leather exports from JNPT worth 25 percent of total leather exports.

There are more than 1000 leather exporting companies in India. Some of the prominent players are Prara Leathers Private Limited, Rahman Industries Limited, Farida Prome Tannery Private Limited, Tata International Limited, Super Tannery Limited and Blue Diamond Leaders.

Top 20 countries with highest share in Indian leather exports during April – June 2018 are as follows:

 

COUNTRY

Exports during Apr-Jun 2018 (Mn)

Share in Exports (percent)

U.S.A.

208.2

14.66

GERMANY

159.39

11.22

U.K.

142.78

10.05

ITALY

99.78

7.03

FRANCE

73.14

5.15

U.A.E.

71.59

5.04

SPAIN

65.7

4.63

HONG KONG

64.24

4.52

CHINA

43.93

3.09

NETHERLANDS

43.38

3.05

POLAND

31.64

2.23

VIETNAM

26.71

1.88

BELGIUM

20.81

1.47

SOMALIA

19.97

1.41

AUSTRALIA

19.27

1.36

DENMARK

16.46

1.16

PORTUGAL

16.52

1.16

KOREA REP.

16.18

1.14

MALAYSIA

16.26

1.14

SAUDI ARABIA

14.59

1.03

 

The major markets for Indian Leather and Leather Products are USA with a share of 14.66 percent, Germany 11.22 percent, UK 10.05 percent, Italy 7.03 percent, France 5.15 percent, UAE 5.04 percent, Spain 4.63 percent, Hong Kong 4.52 percent, China 3.09 percent, Netherlands 3.05 percent, Poland 2.23 percent and Vietnam 1.88 percent.These 12 countries together accounts for nearly 73 percent of India’s total leather and leather products export.European Union collectively accounts for 52 percent of India’s total export of leather and leather products.

Mr. Mukhtarul Amin, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, says that the industry expects exports to grow by 10 percent growth by the end of 2018.“While the EU is the largest market for leather goods, the focus has shifted to other markets such as the US,” he adds.

The Council for Leather Exports (CLE) is an autonomous non-profit organization in India. It is entrusted with the export promotion activities and the plays a major role in the development of the Leather Industry in India. More than 3500 companies in India exporting or manufacturing leather and its products are the members of CLE.

Indian leather exports to the US have grown from 8 per cent to 15 per cent in the last couple years. “But the potential is huge as our market share is barely 1-2 per cent,” he added.

A bright future

The Government of India had identified the leather sector as a focus sector in the Indian Foreign Trade Policy in view of its immense potential for export growth prospects and employment generation. Accordingly, the Government is also implementing various Special Focus Initiatives under the Foreign Trade Policy for the growth of leather sector. With the implementation of various industrial developmental programs as well as export promotional activities, and industry’s inherent strengths of skilled manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and dedicated support of the allied industries, the Indian leather industry aims to augment the production, thereby enhance export, and resultantly create additional employment opportunities.

The Indian Government has approved an outlay of USD 400million for employment generation in the leather industry. As part of the initiative, four mega clusters that will house tanneries, leather goods and footwear manufacturing units and training centres are coming up in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

The emerging strengths of the sector also lie in design development initiatives by institutions and individuals, continuous modernization and technology up-gradation, economic size of manufacturing units, constant human resource development programme to enhance productivity, increasing use of quality components, shorter prototype development time, delivery compliance and growing domestic market for footwear and leather articles.

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