ACLE 2016, upcoming ChinaThe Shanghai appointment confirmed this is a challenging moment in the sector, but there were also encouraging signals, with a […]

Dec 29, 2016
Posted in: , Events

The Shanghai appointment confirmed this is a challenging moment in the sector, but there were also encouraging signals, with a very positive 5-year development plan

Due to the figures and its principal reference market (the immense China), there’s always a lot of interest around the All China Leather Exhibition. The 2016 event, held in Shanghai between the end of August and the beginning of September, confirmed the trends of the last two tradeshows, tracing the picture of an Eastern market in a phase of transition. A moment on which to reflect, which should be viewed as sensible caution, caused by the highly volatile economic scenario. This uncertainty is at the basis of this slowdown (-10.8% compared to 2015) in Chinese imports of semi-finished goods, whereas the figures for finished leathers are even more drastic (-20.5%). This was what emerged from a clear analysis presented at the opening of the tradeshow, by Su Chaoying, the retiring president of the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA), who will be passing the reins to Li Yuzhong, the new president of the board. This downturn is due to a decrease in demand by the country’s tanneries and manufacturers. According to Chaoying, the window of this transitional period will take another 2-3 to stabilise.

Despite this, however, there was an increase in exhibitors (+11,8%) compared to the 2015 event, confirming ACLE as a privileged doorway into the Chinese market. A growth stimulated by the marked presence of local exhibitors (+22,4%, despite the weak internal demand), which compensated for a slight decline in the number of overseas names (457 instead of 464). The same trend was seen among the visitors: compared to a slight drop in the number of international buyers, there was a +3% increase in visitors from the principal Chinese manufacturing provinces. Figures that confirm there is effectively potential for growth despite the internal decline.

Chaoying also underlined the efforts China is making to remain a reliable engine and he also illustrated a 5-year development plan which, from now until 2020, forecasts a 7% rise in annual turnover and a 10% increase in investments in research and development, with the aim of acquiring 55% of the market share (compared to the current 49%) in exports to developing countries. Only time will tell if the ACLE 2016 forecasts are right, although it must be said that there is already an atmosphere of prudent optimism in a number of sectors. For 2016, analysis have forecast a 6% growth in car sales, which will subsequently also have a positive impact on leather suppliers for the automotive industry (seats and interiors of cars).

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