Japanese output fell in fourth quarter18 November 2009
Overall leather production in Japan was looking as if it was going to be similar to 2007 levels but tailed off by a third in some sectors from October last year, according to the Tanners’ Council of Japan. Total production of finished leather in 2008 was almost the same as 2007 due to a high demand for automotive leather. However, the overall domestic consumption in non-upholstery had been decreasing throughout the year and tailed off steeply in October as demand for automotive and furniture leather fell.
Up to the final quarter, demand for Japanese made upholstery leather and soaked up declines seen in other sectors such as footwear and leathergoods. Sales of calf and kip leathers decreased sharply down 56% at 608,000 m2.
According to Kozo Tokunaga, chairman, Tanners’ Council of Japan, automotive and furniture upholstery leather tanners saw a 30% fall in orders by volume in November compared with January to October and they believe that ‘the miserable’ conditions may continue at least for the remainder of 2009 and possibly into the first half of next year. Production at many Japanese domestic car plants and their foreign subsidiaries has decreased significantly since the end of last year.
Cattle hide imports into Japan totalled 904,000 pieces compared with 1.3 million in 2007. Wet-blue imports were also down 8.5% to 3.2 million pieces. Brazil (32% share) and Australia (19%) remained Japan’s major sources of wet-blue stock which were mainly destined for upholstery leather.
The Tanners’ Council of Japan’s report was given to ICT meeting which took place at HKCEC in Hong Kong, March 30.