The Market Prospect of Leather Industry


Leather has been around for a very long time and so is the profession of tanner. The evidence can be traced back from ancient literature text such as when Aristotle cites Socrates: “There are four professions to be the fundamentals of the citation of state: The architect, the weaver, the farmer and the tanner”. From the ancient times, leather has been used by our ancestors to do various applications. the Sumerians used skins for long dresses and diadems for ladies. The Assyrians used leather for footwear but also for liquid containers and as inflated floats for rafts.  The ancient Indian civilization first processed the type of leather known as the “Morocco” today. Today leather is mainly used as raw material to produce various accessories and apparels and for various usages.


Leather is durable and flexible. It also has a long lifespan and provides comfort for its users. Because of these properties, the demand for leather products becomes increasingly high. The high price for leather product is caused by the relatively high production cost. Mostly because of the expensive cost of cattle care and the large number of chemicals used. The limited number of expert craftsmen and hides produced are also a contributing factor to the high production cost. Therefore, owning leather becomes a symbol of status and only a handful of people can afford it.


The high demand for leather can be seen by statistics from

Value of the leading leather footwear importers worldwide in 2013 (in million U.S. dollars)

Leather graph 1
Import Values for leather shoes in 2013
Leather_list of countries
List of top exporting countries for leather shoes in 2015


The total import value of footwear alone in 2013 reach more than $30 billion with America in the top list. From this data shown above we can conclude that leather market is really a large market with considerable amount of Dollar is being circulated yearly. In addition to the above data, the market forecast for leather promises a bright prospect. The projection can be seen below:

Leather_graph 2Figure 4. Global Market Projection for leather market

The market is projected to reach $4.3 million by 2020, growing with CAGR of 7.64% between 2013 and 2020. The relatively constant growth of the market shows market potential which has not been utilized.  By using this information, surely entering leather market will be a great investment with promising return. Moreover, the increasingly expanding market will also give rise to more players in this market; creating more job opportunities and helping government fights unemployment.

Fun fact of leather industry: It is estimated that more than one million tonnes of hides and skins containing about 2.8 megatons of collagen are used yearly worldwide for leather production. The industry produces about 18 billion square feet of leather yearly and creating profit of $40 billion from its sales. Asian countries accounted for highest Dollars with value of leather shoe export shipment at 26.6 billion Dollar followed by European at $25.1 billion. In 2016, user penetration for leather shoe is at 17.34% and is expected to hit 24.52% in 2020. With that in mind, the revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2020) of 11.01%.

The leather market has brought prosperity to not only for its customers but also for its manufacturers and chemical suppliers. A good example from the manufacturing part is the fact that more than 500,000 tanners worldwide are working for leather industry, moreover this number increases for further downstream manufacturing process. The leather chemicals show most prominent growth in developing countries due to the rapid growth of leather industries. China and India are dominating in specific chemicals for tanning and dyeing purpose while some European countries are more into the finishing chemicals.

Tradeasia prides itself as one of the best leather chemical supplier you can find on the internet. We sell various chemicals for different stages of leather manufacturing process with the best quality and superb services. In the meantime, feel free to drop by our company website to browse our catalogue for chemicals relevant to the leather industry or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

By          : Vincent Kiathadi

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