German leather sector sales recover in 2013

Germany
Published:  28 August, 2013

In the view of the financial crisis, in particular in the euro-zone, the German economy has passed through a weak period in recent years, but is now recording a slight upswing in growth. For 2013 economical growth is up 0.3% and 1.5% for 2014 is anticipated for the whole economy. 

Similar to this economic development the German leather industry recorded a decline in sales of €400,000 in 2012, a 6% downturn compared with 2011. Leather exports fell by 10%.

However, with a slow recovery of many buyer markets, the premium segments of automotive and furniture upholstery and the luxury goods sector, the German leather industry showed an increase in sales turnover in 2013. Compared to the same period in 2012, sales went up by nearly 7% over the first four months of 2013, exports increased by 7.5%, domestic turnover increased by 5.5%.

Germany is still third largest producer of quality bovine hide leathers within the EU and 12th worldwide. However, just as other leather producing nations economical efficiency of the German leather industry suffers from price increases for quality raw hides which are difficult to pass on.

With a continued decline in hide production within the EU (-4.2% in 2012 down to 27.5 million pieces compared to 2011) prices for raw hides increased by 15% in 2011 compared to 2010. A further increase in prices for bovine hides by another 7% was recorded in 2012, only to rise even more drastically during first quarter of 2013 by 23%.

With approx. 80% of its production delivered into the upmarket segments for upholstery and automotive interior applications. Including a range of exclusive aniline and nubuck leathers. Furthermore, production of fine leathers for luxurious leather goods, fashionable and exclusive shoe uppers and very robust shoe upper leathers for outdoor applications play a significant role in Germany’s leather production.

German tanners at ACLE

As in the years before the German leather industry will be present at the German joint pavilion (Halls E1 and E2) supported by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology and organised by the Messe Düsseldorf. Leading leather manufacturers like Heller-Leder, Lederfabrik Josef Heinen and Richard Hoffmans will be presenting their high-quality collections of leathers for all applications.

Prominent trading companies include SCHAUCO and HiCon Europe will offer their wide range of raw hides, semi-finished products and finished leathers. Furthermore, well-known producers of leather chemicals and auxiliaries and technical suppliers will present at the joint pavilion.

The centre point of the German presentation will be the information stand attended by the Association of the German Leather Industry  - VDL (Verband der Deutschen Lederindustrie).

As R&D is one of the pillars of success for Germany’s leather and tanning industry there is also information available on research and development activities and testing services of competent German research institutions such as FILK (Forschungsinstitut für Leder und Kunststoffbahnen), which also functions as an approved certification body for the worldwide first climate protection label ECO2L (energy controlled leather) demanded by an increasing number of international customers.

www.vdl-web.de

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