Türkiye’s strong leather industry links with Russia were evident at the most recent edition of Le Show held in Moscow.

The fair took place at the Expo Centre in the city, July 8-10 and attracted 205 exhibitors. According to the organisers 80% of visitors were Russian and the fair remained busy throughout.

With the resurgence of the Russian market the exhibition had increased by 50% compared with last year as the next buying season for garment leather and furs was set to begin in mid-July.

‘Russia is a very important market for us and around 60% of our business is exported here’, Mehmet Benli, export manager, Mender garment factory and the Ensari tannery told Leather International. ‘Business this year has been so-so but compared with other markets Russia is doing quite well’, he added.

Ensari process around 5,000 skins a day from their tannery based in Corlu near Istanbul.

For businesses such as Mender/Ensari the Russian market has a high demand for doubleface leather. As the economy becomes stronger and more professional higher numbers of businesses are finding trade with Russia more interesting, especially for garment leather.

The strong Turkish doubleface leather and garment manufacturing bases have found Russia a significant market. In recent years Russia has shifted away from the ‘suitcase’ trade and is becoming more open and honest. The Russian buyer is now looking for high quality leathers.

‘We now come to Russia three or four times a year and it is our fifth largest export market’, says John Colomer, president of Spanish doubleface manufacturers La Doma. ‘There has become a demand for top quality products and to me doing business in Russia is the same as any other market. We have made good business and new contacts at this fair especially for the next winter season.’

From the total number of exhibitors only 45 were non-Turkish or Russian with small numbers from Spain, Italy, Belarus, China, Ukraine, USA, India and Argentina. Most stands were full of doubleface leathers and garments with many companies selling for next autumn and winter in Russia.

Le Show, which is organised by the Türkel Fair Organisers based in Istanbul, also included twice-daily fashion shows featuring Turkish made leather garments. The next edition of the fair is due to take place August 19-21 in the Russian town of Ekaterinburg.