Leather product exports top $1.4 B in Apr-Oct

By agencies   |   Friday, 27 January 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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CHENNAI: Leather exports during the current year are on target. The industry needs to attract new investments and funds to expand capacities and sustain growth.

Commenting on this, K Elangovan, Executive Director, Council for Leather Exports said that leather product exports had touched $1,430 million between April and October of the current financial year, as against exports of $1,357 million during the year-ago period.

In 2004-05, exports had reached $2,379 million and the industry is confident of achieving its target of $2,675 million in the current year, he added. Footwear exports led the growth in the current year with a 15 percent increase to $856 million in April-October ($515 million). By the end of the current financial year, the industry expects growth to touch 18 percent. Leather goods exports were $569 million ($354 million) and the target of $650 million would be reached, he said. Leather garments strike a sour note with a slump in exports-$185 million ($319 million).

The reason is that India caters to the mid-market segment that offers a realization of about $50 a garment and its market is being eroded by competition from China, which is expanding into this segment from its traditional low-end $30 segment. The up-market $70 segment continues to be with Italy. The consolation is that globally; trade in leather garments has declined. This is due to the availability of cheap synthetic alternatives. People are looking at options other than leather while shopping and climate change is lowering leather garment sales, he added.

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