Leather exports rise 8% in FY19

Though growing in rupee terms, shipments have remained static in dollars

April 23, 2019 10:13 pm | Updated 10:25 pm IST - CHENNAI

Visitors at the 34th edition of India International Leather Fair (IILF) in Chennai

Visitors at the 34th edition of India International Leather Fair (IILF) in Chennai

India registered about 8% growth in export of leather, leather products and footwear during 2018-19 and is aiming to achieve 9% to 10% growth during the current fiscal, said a top industry body official.

“In rupee terms, exports during 2018-19 grew to ₹36,562.34 crore from ₹33,894.71 crore in the corresponding year-earlier period,” said P.R. Aqeel Ahmed, chairman, Council for Leather Exports (CLE). “Though the exports have grown by 7.87% in rupee terms, it was similar to last year’s level in dollar terms,” he said.

Though export of finished leather and leather garments contracted in rupee terms in FY19, the industry was able to achieve overall positive growth due to good growth levels shown by other segments such as leather footwear (8.98%), leather goods (13.78%), saddlery and harness (10.74%) and footwear components (4.21%), he said.

For the current year, CLE i aiming to achieve 9% to 10% growth, for which it has planned a ‘comprehensive and extensive’ marketing campaign involving more than 20 events.

These events would cover the traditional markets of Europe and potential markets such as Chile and Peru, Russia, Australia and Japan. Besides, reverse buyer-seller meets are planned in Delhi and Kolkata so as to provide a platform for exporters to meet overseas buyers in India itself, he said.

Domestic consumption

“Over 90% of our leather footwear output is consumed in the domestic market. During FY19, nearly 2.4 billion pairs of shoes of domestic and international brands were sold in the country and thus, we have become the second largest consumer of shoes after China due to the huge domestic opportunity. USA is in the third position,” he said.

Regarding the the proposed removal of Generalised System of Preference (GSP) treatment to India by U.S., he said: “It will have a negative impact of $250 million. It will be a challenge to export certain types of finished leather and leather goods since the zero duty benefit under GSP scheme is currently extended to these segments.”

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