Interest in the fast growing upholstery leather sector in Asia was already evident at the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) held in September 2003. There was strong participation from international upholstery leather suppliers in ACLE 2003, including Apucacouros Industria Exportacao de Couros from Brazil, Schafstall from Germany and the Solofra Leather System Consortium from Italy.

The introduction of a new specific upholstery leather sector will reinforce ACLE as the leading international leather fair in China, dedicated to serving all leather-using industries within the country. These include footwear, apparels, fashion accessories, leathergoods and industrial upholstery (automotive, domestic and office). This new sector will make its debut at ACLE from September 1-3, 2004, at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China.

Upholstery use is the fastest growing segment for leather manufacture and involves the most challenging application procedures. It demands a technically advanced range of products meeting very high performance specifications which must also fulfil fashion requirements in colour, texture, appearance and feel.

Upholstery leather for automotive, office and domestic use is still largely the preserve of the longer established leather producing regions, principally in Europe and North America. But its manufacture has spread around the globe and leather producers are increasingly targeting the emerging markets in China where involvement in upholstery and automotive manufacturing is growing within both domestic and export markets.

As a consumer market, China is starting from a very low basis in both furniture and automotive goods, underlining their enormous potential. In furniture, for example, domestic consumption is only US$10 per capita, one tenth of the world standard. In automotive sales, China manufactured some 600,000 cars for the domestic market last year but will produce in excess of four million in a few years’ time. Globally, leather use is on the increase in both markets and a similar pattern can be expected to emerge in China as disposable income increases.

There is no better venue than ACLE to explore and develop the leather market in China. ACLE reaches directly to buyers at the heart of the leather-using industries. For example the ACLE 2003 event attracted a record 12,484 visitors, with over 90% from mainland China.

ACLE 2004 will be held from September 1-3 at Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China.