Leather and hide imports to China market increase

7 May 2003

Import and export statistics for the Chinese leather industry during January and February 2003 continue to remain positive according to figures released by the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA). Exports amounted to US$2.1 billion, up 22.3% compared with the same period in 2002 and accounting for 3.8% of China's total export value. The leather garment sector reported the largest growth rate to reach US$240 million. That is an increased of 51% compared with the previous year. Exports of leather gloves were worth US$170 million up 35.2% and leather shoe exports totaled US$770 million, an increased of 21.4% over the same period. Export of semi processed and finished leather were up 15.9% to US$120 million while raw hide exports from China fell 17% to US$1 million. Total export of finished footwear during January and February amounted to 750 million pairs by quantity with an export value of US$1.8 billion. This was an increase of 9.9% and 14.5% respectively. Exports of leather shoes reached 160 million pairs, accounting for 22% of total footwear export by quantity. Rubber shoes totaled 410 million pairs, accounting for 55% of the total by quantity. The largest ten importers of raw materials and leather, excluding fur, from the Chinese mainland were Hong Kong (accounting for 54.7% in value), South Korea (11.0%), Italy (7.8%), Taiwan (5.8%), Spain (4.9%), United States (2.9%), Vietnam (1.9%), Singapore (1.6%), Thailand (1.6%) and Indonesia (1.2%). China imported raw hides, leather and leather products worth US$550 million during the first two months of the year. This was an increase of 33.5% compared with last year and accounted for 1% of China's total import value. Imports of leather garments US$520,000, increased by 232.5%, raw hides, excluding fur, rose by US$120 million up 35.8% and semi-processed and finished leather were up 36.7% to US$360 million against the same period of last year. The top five countries with the highest value of exports to China during January and February were United States (16.5% by value), Taiwan (16.3%), South Korea (15.6%), Italy (8.3%) and Australia (7.3%).

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