The organisers of the APLF said the series of online events will bring together international suppliers mainly in the chemical, machinery, raw hide/ skins and footwear components sectors. Testing and accreditation companies will participate. For three consecutive weeks, buyers from China (January 20-21, 2021), India (January 28-29, 2021) and Africa/Middle East (February 3-4, 2021) will be able to log in to the online platform to meet new suppliers, source new products and attend webinars with a similar experience to participating in a real event. According to the APLF, the three Virtual APLF Events have received excellent support from the local leather associations; Council for Leather Exports of India (CLE), China Leather Industry Association (CLIA) and the African Tanning associations, which support the Pan African Leather Fair (PALF) in Egypt to be held in 2022.

Presenting an overview of the three regions targeted by the virtual events, the APLF said the Chinese domestic market has recovered well from Covid-19. From January to August 2020, the total import value of leather products reached US$8.89 billion, with 850,000 tons of raw hides and 312,000 tons of semi-finished leather being imported. “The strong consumer market has also boosted demand for leather, and stimulated the import of raw materials, tanning chemicals, machinery, shoe materials and other related products”, said the APLF, adding that revenue in the leather footwear segment amounted to US$9.8 billion in 2020 and that the leather market is expected to grow 2.9% annually.

Accounting for 13% of global production of hides and skins, India is home to 20% of the world’s cattle and buffalo population and 11% of the world’s goats and sheep. An estimated three billion sq ft of leather are produced annually in India. Before the pandemic, exports of footwear, leather and leather products from India reached US$5 billion, as the second largest producer of footwear and garments, and the second largest exporter of leather garments and third largest exporter of saddlery and harnesses.

Africa accounts for 26.3% share of the world’s livestock population, and 14% of the world leather and hides. Annual footwear demand reached 800 million pairs. Leather goods imported into the UAE amounted to US$2 billion, Saudi Arabia US$1 billion, Tunisia US$800 million, Kuwait US$400 million and Egypt US$200 million. In Egypt, there are nearly 300 tanneries, exporting US$14 million worth of leather annually.

For more information on the APLF Virtual Events, please click here.