Boot it up – inside Lineapelle

15 September 2015

There are several shows jockeying for position in the events calendar for the leather industry come this time of year, and Lineapelle, held in Milan, Italy, on 9–11 September, is no stranger when it comes to competing for notoriety. Leather International takes a closer look at the show and its market breakdowns.

Lest we forget, nestled before Première Vision Leather in Paris and ACLE in Shanghai is Milan's Lineapelle, one of the most important international exhibitions dedicated to leather and leather goods, accessories, components and furniture.

Launched in 1981, it has deep roots in the event calendar, and is experiencing new vigour since moving from its ancestral home in Bologna last year to the vast expanses of the exhibition centre in Rho, Milan.

Lineapelle has been characterised by its constant leadership in quality and style innovation, which makes it indispensable to the worldwide leather demand. However, reports from Milan indicate that Italy remains a sluggish market, resulting in many sellers opting out of this edition of the fair. Despite market conditions and circumstances - some say the natural ebb and flow of the industry - Lineapelle will still make a big impact, with nearly 1,100 exhibitors stamped on to the floor plan.

The Trend Area

A pivotal component of the exhibition is The Trend Area, where the most innovative materials, about 2,000 samples, are supplied by exhibitors and put on display. And after the exhibition closes, the samples are then displayed at LP Fashion Studio in Milan, where consultations are also available.

US market breakdown

The US market is one of the most important for Italy because:

  • last year, Italy exported to the US leathers worth €187 million or a 3% rise from 2013
  • the US represents the eighth-most-popular destination abroad for the Italian industry
  • In the first four months of 2015, Italy's export to the US has increased by 10%
  • Italy imported €234-million worth of raw hides and semi-tanned leathers from the US in 2014.

Italian leather market overview Q1 2015

Prices during the first quarter of the year show a generally different trend between small skins (declining) and medium-to-large-sized skins (increasing). For medium-to-large-sized raw bovine hides, the increases since 1 January appear to be in proportion with the weight scale (bull calves, 4%; cows, 6%; and bulls 8%) and are all of European origin (the US and Oceanian countries are against the trend).
In light of the decline on the wet-blue price index (mainly related to non-EU suppliers), the main reasons behind the rising trend appear to be due to market dynamics (strong demand for leather in the automotive sector) and exchange rates (weaker euro vis-à-vis the dollar). Seasonal comparison Q1 2015 vs Q1 2014 show:

  • medium-large bovine: sales slowing down (-6% year on year)
  • small bovine: downward trend, with about the same intensity as adult and mid-sized bovine (-9%)
  • sheep and goat: essentially stable due to sheep (+1%), but goats continue to decline (-3%).

The demand for luxury goods suffered a slowdown during the beginning of the year (mainly caused by the disposal of stocks). Leather goods experienced a hiccup, footwear remained at a standstill, yet the automotive sector was good for this quarter.

Lineapelle by numbers

  • 1,086 exhibitors
  • (724 Italians 362 rest of world)
  • 41 exhibiting countries
  • 107 visiting countries
  • 20,031 visitors in 2014
  • (11,468 Italians 8,563 rest of world).

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