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Netherlands – Buoyant luxury end of the market for calf

Published: 27 Apr, 2022

The calfskin market within the Netherlands remains buoyant and, so far, immune to the market forces that are weighing heavy over other sectors of the leather industry. Almost all the calfskins are utilised within the luxury leather goods market and, with a smaller slaughter across Europe, this has helped to keep demand high. It has been reported that animals are being slaughtered much younger which means there is a shortage of skins available around the 18kg level, with the inevitable price increases that follow when supply/demand gets out of balance. Short term, there is nothing being reported as available, with suppliers fulfilling existing orders. Already some contracts are being concluded for skins as far ahead as July, meaning that stability in the market can be almost guaranteed until the Italian tannery shutdown period at the end of July and into August.

The once lucrative and voluminous cowhide trade is reported to be suffering from the problems in China. Over the past two decades, cowhides have made up much of the business between the Netherlands and China, with not only domestic production hides, but also other European origin cowhides passing through the Netherlands. The freight rate increases along with the container shortages have hampered much of this operation over the past year, but it is the current lockdowns and tanning restrictions within China that have put the brakes on the trade, those tanners that still trade within China are bidding well below the price of contracts already agreed, which makes suppliers uneasy about the market. It could be that suppliers have to accept lower bids with regular customers to protect the contracts they already have on their books.

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