Vietnamese leather products manufacturers are experiencing a shortage of leather, according to the Vietnamese News Agency (VNA). Demand for tanned leather at footwear factories has almost doubled in the past seven years, from 14.8 million square metres in 1998 to 27.8 million square metres in 2005. Figures from the Trade Ministry indicate that demand will rise to 46.4 million square metres a year by 2010. Vietnamese tanneries have the capacity to meet only 20% of national leather demand, which results in a continuing dependence on imported leather, according to the VNA. Vietnamese tanneries reportedly have a combined production target of just 7.4 million square metres a year by 2010.

Vietnamese leather imports in 2005 totalled 22.3 million square metres. Figures for the first nine months of the year reveal that 26% of imports came from Taiwan, followed by 13% from mainland China, 12% from South Korea, 9% from Thailand and 8% from Hong Kong. Vietnamese leather footwear manufacturers expect to achieve a turnover of US$3.7 billion this year.