The Italian leathergoods machinery sector enjoyed a bumper year in 2000, according to figures released by Assomac. The associationís figures show that exports during the first 11 months of 2000 rose 16.8% for tanning machinery; 17% for leathergoods; and 7.7% for footwear machinery.

Principal outlets for tanning machinery were China and Hong Kong (up 39.34% on the previous year), Brazil (up 19.55%), the US (up 52.42%), Mexico (up 4.71%) but Spain was down 2.8%.

Leading recipient for footwear machinery was Romania (ahead 53.76% on the same period in 1999), India (up 90.84%) and Mexico (up 41.72%). Footwear machinery sales to China and Hong Kong fell by 9%.

Sales of leathergoods machinery were more evenly distributed and the principal markets were China and Hong Kong (up 5%), the US (up 234.9%), Brazil (up 84.62%) and Mexico (up 32.64%).

Looking to the year ahead, Assomac forecasts uncertainty with Europe trying to keep its ‘historical’ sector alive by exploiting traditionand design in the face of tough competition from South America and China.