To begin with I would like to wish You all health, big orders and top quality in 2016 ! I will stand by with personal 2016 opinion as I am not a fairy, but I can say few words on world’s tanneries.
This year many tanneries producing shoe leather will switch to automotive or upholstery. Just take a look on Italy where Arzignano market is doing much better than boutique Santa Croce. Why boutique? Unlike North, focused mostly on automotive leather, Santa Croce does mainly footwear for many years. Top quality producers gathered around this city provide leather for brands like Gucci, Prada or Armani (Gucci even has it’s own tannery near S. Croce). Unfortunately top brands are unable to feed all tanneries and the medium / low-end sector prefers Middle East or China. That’s one of reasons why shoe producers switch to automotive leather. If they do, bigger supply can lead to another fluctuation and automotive leather price may find the bottom.
What is more many companies such as h&m, nike or timberland require more and more certificates. Some of them ask for LWG which is becoming popular, because it’s win-win properties. It provides guarantee to the brand, but in the same time lower the cost of production and gives more opportunities to the tannery. Ecology and sustainable leather begin to show, that’s why chemical companies warn us to prepare (for example by creating Bio-white leather). 2016 is a good year to start trials on ecological product.
“AB 2016” may be a good name for this year. Many companies are seeking for good quality and they are able to pay for it. Unfortunately there is not enough material and the quality is getting worse every year (stay tuned for upcoming article explaining this matter). We can still find top grain in France or good value in Poland, but it’s becoming niche product globally. What’s interesting Brasil exports mostly TR1 for last few months, when TR4 is everywhere around the country and inventory is huge even in China.
China is on the news now as the economy and the stock market began to decline. It affects leather business too, in the end of 2015 orders from Asia dropped or have been cancelled on the way. Another risk on this continent comes from ecology that pushes this business down for last few years. Many tanneries are being moved out of towns or even invited to different parts of country. Although market shows that automotive leather has gone up in 2015 and this year Chinese shoe producers start asking about good quality materials too – let’s hope for better.
“More information will be coming after each important leather fair, stay tuned and check all important events on our website. Happy 2016 !”