The IILF is largely a suppliers’ fair to the considerable tanning and footwear industries of India. There are less domestic tanners than in the past and most leather makers at this year’s show were seeking to sell raw, wet-blue, crust and finished materials into India rather than local businesses looking for foreign buyers.

As usual, day 1 of the show was very busy with packed out stands in the main chemicals hall housing all of the major global players. In fact, Lanxess demonstrated its products inside one of BMW’s electric i8 cars on its stand. It certainly drew attention from the local audience.

ILM spoke with one Vellore based small skins tanner who confirmed that the sheepskin business remains poor at the moment but that they had seen more interest in goatskins for footwear and linings.

Reflecting the global situation, the market here seems to be ticking over but is somewhat subdued by a lack of demand for exports. Mild Northern Hemisphere winters and a slowing of the economy in China has certainly put a brake on the Indian government’s optimistic growth in exports although the Council for Leather Exports is doing all it can to bring buyers to the fair in it’s “leather week”.

One Europe based raw materials and wet-blue processor exhibiting at IILF for the first time said that the start of the show was quiet but there is some interest for lower grades and lighter weight cowhides from Europe.

The IILF continues until February 3.