One hide trader told ILM. “We could be at a tipping point in the industry where demand for leather remains high and supply limited. Increasing prices could lead to it (leather) becoming regarded as a high value material which i think would be a good thing for the industry.”

According to Don Ohsman of Hidenet, high raw material prices are yet to reach the top. During a presentation in Hong Kong he said that the prices of US Texas Steers rose 17.4% between 2012-13 and have in 2014 already risen a further 9.7%. He also calculated that finished upper leather prices had risen 8.6% between 2012-13 and a further 6.4% for the first part of 2014. It is interesting to note that raw material prices seem to have increased by a higher percentage than finished leather according to Ohsman but it would be in-line with what tanners are saying.

On the subject of raw material costs it was also noted that with recent developments in Russia and Argentina, it is now estimated that approximately 50% of the worlds hides supply are now restricted which will put more pressure on unrestricted raw materials and thus lead to prices that are even more expensive.

Following the APLF, theSauerReport suggests that traders obtained no significant price increases during the fair this week or when many had been travelling through China and Asia preceding the show. 

Good contacts

Despite the usual groaning about cost of raw materials tanners appeared to have had a good APLF this year. ILM saw one “door-step” sized book of contacts and enquiries that had been made by a tanner over the three days and the halls were certainly busy duirng the second part of the first day and the second day of the show. Outside the weather was particularly stormy which may have helped keep the buyers and designers inside the show.

As reported, Brazil was the focus country this year and had organised a number of events. According to one Brazilian tanner, Umberto Bastos Sacchelli Neto, Director at Apucarana Leather, was very happy with the intense visits to his stand. “This year is better than last year, there are way more visits to our space. I believe that Brazil as the Focus Country encouraged this greater concentration of people in the Brazilian pavilion”, he said. 

1213 exhibitors attended the show this year with 97 exhibiting for the first time. “Many markets are beginning to come out of the global recession that began in 2008. Coupled with continuing demand from Asia and Hong Kong’s easy-to-access busness environment I expect that the 30th edition of the APLF will be remembered as being successful”, commented Michael Duck, APLF Director and show organiser.

The next edition of APLF MM&T / Fashion Access will take place March 30 to April 1, 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.