China’s leather-sector exports had a value of $86.1 billion in 2015, a decline of 3.1% year on year. Exports of all types of footwear for the year reached almost 9.9 billion pairs with a value of $51.1 billion, figures that represent falls of 8.1% and 5.1% respectively compared to 2014.
Commenting on these figures, the president of the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA), Su Chaoying, said that although exports were declining, growth in the country’s domestic market was going some way towards compensating.
In answer to a question from World Leather at a media conference on March 31, Mr Su said: “Growth continues, even if at a slower rate than in previous years.” He said CLIA had calculated that the more than 8,000 large producers of leather and finished leather products in China, those turning over at least $3 million per year, had increased their sales by 6.1% in 2015, although he did not give a total sales figure.
“In cities, Chinese consumers are buying, on average, 3.7 pairs of shoes per year each, while in the countryside it’s 1.7 pairs,” Mr Su continued. “Some people still like to buy things overseas but we expect a series of positive new policies from the government, including the lowering of sales tax, to encourage people to buy more in China.”