World trade in the leather sector in 2021
06 / 02 / 2023
Contenido publicado por: Lederpiel
2021 was a year marked by the covid-19 pandemic. Its irruption and rapid expansion in early 2020 forced a large part of the countries around the world to implement rigorous confinement measures and mobility restrictions, which caused a slowdown in international trade. Exports and imports fell sharply for much of 2020, and it took until well into 2021 for faint signs of recovery to begin to be perceived. 2021 was, therefore, a year of transition to normalize an economy sharply damaged by the new coronavirus. Of course, this situation also affected the global balance of tanned and leather-made articles.
According to the French National Leather Council’s (CNC) ‘World Leather Trade in 2021’ report, China sold 28% of the value of total exports of leather products in the world. Compared to 2020, China grew by 0.6%. For its part, Italy, the second largest exporter of leather products, accumulated 14.3% of the value of world sales in 2021 (1% more than in 2020); while Vietnam, in third position in this ranking, accounted for 12% of the total (1.4% less). For their part, other European countries such as France and Germany also established themselves as large sellers of leather and fur-related products during the past 2021. The former accumulated 6.3% of the value of exports (0.4% more than in 2020), while Germany concentrated 4% (+0.1%). Although China continues to be the world’s leading exporter, its loss of influence is confirmed year after year, taking into account that in 2010 the value of its foreign sales of leather and fur items accounted for 45% of the total worldwide.
By continent, 54% of total exports of fur and leather goods came from Asia (same percentage as in 2020), compared to 41% from European countries (1% more than in 2020).
By product type, China continues to be the country that sells the most leather footwear (30.9% of total exports) and the most leather goods (29.5%). For its part, Italy capitalizes on exports of clothing and leather accessories (21.2%) and tanned skins by value (23.7%). Meanwhile, the United States leads foreign sales corresponding to raw skins and leather (24.9%).
Leather in Spain
The world trade of leather in 2021 from the CNC also highlights some interesting data from our country. For example, it points out that Spain is the sixth largest exporter of raw fur and leather in the world, accumulating 4.3% of foreign sales of this product in 2021. Its main clients are Italy, which buys 39.9% of its total exports of raw skins; China, with 27.4%, and Portugal, with 10.3%. On the other hand, our country is the twelfth largest importer of this product, accumulating 1.6% of the total. Its main suppliers are France, with 21%; Portugal, with 20.1%, and Italy, with 16.1%.
As for tanned leather, Spain is the ninth largest exporter of tanned leather in the world, accumulating 3.1% of foreign sales of this product in 2021. Its main clients are Italy, which buys 28.2% of its total exports of tanned skins; France, with 21%, and Portugal, with 14.1%. On the other hand, it is the thirteenth largest importer of this product, accumulating 2.5% of the total. Its main suppliers are Italy, with 42.9%; Nigeria, with 9.4%, and Egypt, with 4.8%.
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