Proceed with caution
Price pressures, a global automotive industry in transition and changing consumer behaviour all constitute major challenges for the leather industry. Following APLF, Andrea Guolo looks at how political and economic trends around the world are impacting the sector.
View from the US
The prices of US hides started to see their steady levels erode in late March after the APLF in Hong Kong. Despite some sellers being well positioned ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday period, as well as the weeks immediately after, low sales volumes and plentiful supplies started to take their toll on the US market.
Uncertainty in a world of autonomy
At the Lectra Motor Show in March, the leather and automotive industries came together to examine the future trajectory of car design. The development of self-driving cars may appear to marginalise leather as an interior material, but the ongoing need for luxury, personalisation and durability ensure that the future outlook is bright, as Leather International reports.
Lead the way on sustainability
More than 800 exhibitors showcased their products and services at this year’s APLF Leather & Materials+ fair, which took place on 13–15 March. Sustainability in all its forms was top of the agenda at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Brazil means business
The 43rd edition of Fimec, which took place on 26–28 February in Novo Hamburgo, reflected a change of fortune in the leather footwear industry in the country. Visitors flocked to the Fenac Exhibition Centre, where optimism prevailed and deals were closed.