Throughout the initial five months of 2023, the value of Spanish exports of semi-tanned and tanned skins has consistently reached unprecedented heights due to the prevailing high inflation over recent months. Conversely, overseas sales of raw skins saw a decline exceeding 16%.
Based on information sourced from the General Directorate of Customs, January to May of this year witnessed a 16.5% reduction (equivalent to 11.3 million euros) in raw skin exports in comparison to the same timeframe in 2022. Meanwhile, exports of semi-tanned skins surged by 32.7%, translating to a 10-million-euro increment, and exports of tanned skins registered a 6.6% uptick, amounting to a 12 million euro increase.
Compared to the initial five months of 2019, the period preceding the Covid-19 pandemic, sales of raw hides experienced an 18.4% contraction. In contrast, semi-tanned hides encountered an impressive 80.1% upswing, while tanned skin exports grew by 16.1%.
Moving on to imports, from January to May 2023 (compared to the same period in 2022) purchases of foreign raw fur rose by 6%, reflecting an additional 1.8 million euros. The procurement of semi-tanned skins from abroad also displayed a 0.1% decrease (amounting to 52,800 euros less), and imports of tanned skins diminished by 0.7% (equivalent to 0.8 million euros less).
In comparison to January to May 2019, raw skin imports witnessed a substantial 41.8% growth and semi-tanned skin imports saw a 15.1% increase, while imports of tanned skins encountered a decline of 16.8%.
Consequently, the trade balance for the leather industry within the initial five months of 2023 depicted an overall imbalance favouring exports, amounting to 88.8 million euros.