The APLF (and Fashion Access) opened in Hong Kong on March 30 and the aisles around hall 1 one of the fair which, houses the tanners, hides and skins traders and tannery suppliers was very busy and crowded. However, in conversations ILM had with exhibitors the overall market is softer compared with the past two years and there is a degree of uncertainty in the market with the exception of the automotive segment.
Buyers especially in the footwear upper segments appear to reducing or replacing leather content in some selections, especially at lower price points following an increase in leather prices caused by the recent record hide prices, reduced demand and currency effects.
APLF MM&T is a must-attend event as an international business platform for leather technology. Attendees include technicians, purchasing managers, designers and fashion professionals seeking inspiration and innovation where material trends, manufacturing and machinery companies are present.
MM&T boasts a huge range of leather from all corners of the globe as well as tannery and process chemicals. MM&T is the definitive leather fair to find new suppliers for the complete spectrum of leather manufacturing.
This year there are 1,239 exhibitors from 54 countries and regions which include 27 group pavilions from 20 countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and U.S.
Despite a gradual decline in raw material prices since they reached historical highs last September there is still some concern about prices remaining high, especially for finished leather. The consequences of “leather pricing itself out of the market” could cause synthetics to replace leather in certain manufacturing processes. One can be sure that this topic will be discussed on the stands and in the aisles of APLF – MM&T this year. Another topic of vital interest on the supply side for tanners is the number of countries restricting the export of raw materials so as to ensure supplies for their domestic tanning industries.
APLF 2015 will be held against a backdrop of rising stock markets, a strong US dollar and also relatively high unemployment in developed western economies. Demand for leather consumer goods is conditioned by economic performance and consumer confidence, which will be improved as the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis fade into the past. Economic growth has to resume in Europe and the U.S and consolidate itself in Asia, especially China with millions about to cross over into the middle classes with disposable income.
APLF would not be a complete or integral event without special highlights and activities which complement and strengthen the central trade show. Here is a summary of these events and activities, which are open to attendees. APLF Mobile App So that visitors can navigate MM&T there is an APLF Mobile App from which the exhibitor list, event schedule, leather forum and seminar programme, interactive map and speakers’ profile at the Leather Forum and the International Leather Conference can be accessed. Use this APP during APLF. Download here: http://doubledutch.me/download/aplf-events
Buyer concierge service
To facilitate the visit of buyers the Organisers have arranged a ‘concierge service’ to create a specific itinerary for new visitors so as to maximise their time at the fair. This service enables them to visit multiple applications for leather according to their needs as well as personal meetings with exhibitors if required.
Best of APLF Awards
The first Best of APLF Awards (BOAA) was held in March 2004 to mark the 10th anniversary of APLF’s Material, Manufacturing & Technology fair. The organisers saw the need to raise the bar for all exhibitors by creating an awards program that would encourage the pursuit of excellence in design and quality.