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China – The leather market seeks positive news

Published: 13 Jan, 2021

It was around this time last year that the world started to become aware of the coronavirus problems within China, which was subsequently followed by a raw materials price collapse in the trade. Then, as we approached the mid-point of 2020, the Chinese economy picked up, and pretty much saved what business there was in the leather industry, as the country came to grips with the virus. Fast forward one year, and the latest reported virus outbreaks in China are very disturbing news for our trade once again. The outbreaks have occurred in Wuji, a major tanning area, resulting in a total lockdown of the area and a complete standstill of work. No trucks are reported to be allowed in or out of the area (unless essential), meaning that containers are waiting in ports, and vessels are slow to be unloaded. Many tanners have requested delays to shipments, although there are no reports as yet of any cancellations. Perhaps with the Chinese New Year fast approaching, this can be a period when the Chinese authorities can get on top of the latest problem and return to normal. There are concerns about the usual mass movement of people within China at this time of year, which may, for the second year running, have to be curtailed. 2020 was the year that Chinese domestic demand for leather kept the industry’s head above the water mark - we all need it to continue to do this.

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