Madrid hosts leather week

15 November 2003

The combined footwear and leathergoods exhibitions Modacalzado and Iberpiel formed part of the International Leather Week in Madrid during the final week of September. Both fairs were held in the Juan Carlos Exhibition Centre, September 26-28. The past year has been difficult for the domestic footwear industry as overall exports decreased by 5.9% in terms of volume and 6.8% in value. Meanwhile imports rose by 15% in volume and value. Spain imported 26 million pairs with an increasing number exported from China followed by Vietnam. However, the balance of trade continues to be favourable with 58.6 million pairs of footwear produced last year with an estimated value of €883 million. Exhibitors that Leather International spoke to said that on the whole, the fair was good for business although not as good as 2002. This reflected a generally depressed market for the footwear industry in Spain and also across the European Union. The fair was held in conjunction with catwalk shows from some of Spain's leading designers known as Pasarela Cibeles which included fashions for the spring and summer 2004 season. Modacalzado is the largest footwear fair in Spain and represents most of the country's leading brands such as Lottusse, Callaghan and Pons Quintana alongside well-known international marks such as Puma, Hush Puppies and Kickers. A number of international countries were represented with large pavilions from Italy and Portugal. Modacalzado is organised by the Feria de Madrid and was sponsored by FICE, the Spanish Footwear Industries Association. The exhibition space of both fairs covers 34,554 sq m and five halls. Iberpiel featured Spanish and international suppliers of luggage, garments and leather accessories. The domestic industry appears to be in good shape despite a difficult year with exports across the sector expected to increase by 15-20% to this December. Exports have risen by 80% over the past five years with major markets located within the European Union. According to the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Leather Goods, Travel Articles and Related Products (ASEFMA), main target markets include Russia and Mexico. The Indian Council for Leather Exports (CLE) had a pavilion with 15 companies within Iberpiel. K Abdul Sattar Khan spokesman for the CLE, told Leather International that major markets in the EU such as Spain were important target countries for Indian producers. It was the second time that the CLE had taken a pavilion at the show and he said that visitor numbers were lower than in 2002.

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