India’s leather exports have jumped 12.6 per cent year-on-year to $ 500 million in August this year because of rising demand from western markets like the US and Europe.

In August last year, these exports stood at $ 444 million, according to data provided by the Council for Leather Exports (CLE).

“The demand for leather exports has been good in the US market. Also, the European market is picking up now,” a CLE official said.

The major markets for Indian leather and its products are the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

Besides, the official said that in order to reduce dependence on traditional markets and to create niche for the products in new ones, exporters are exploring emerging markets including Latin America, Australia, Russia and Japan.

During April-August this year, leather exports grew by 13.60 per cent to $ 2.3 billion as compared to the same period last year.

The council expects leather exports to touch the $ 14 billion level by 2017 which may help double jobs in the sector to 5 million.

At present, the industry employs 2.5 million people, 70 per cent of whom are women, mainly in leather hubs like Agra, Kanpur, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Puducherry.

During the 2012-13 fiscal, leather exports grew over 4 per cent year-on-year to $ 5 billion.

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