INDIAN LEATHER INDUSTRY – OVERVIEW, EXPORT PERFORMANCE & PROSPECTS
The Indian Leather, Leather Products and Footwear Industry holds a prominent place in the Indian economy. This sector is known for its consistency in high export earnings and it is among the top ten foreign exchange earners for the Country.
The export of footwear, leather and leather products from India was to the tune of US $ 5.07 billion during 2019-2020.
The industry is bestowed with an affluence of raw materials as India is endowed with 20% of world cattle & buffalo and 11% of world goat & sheep population. Added to this are the strengths of skilled manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and the dedicated support of the allied industries.
The leather industry is an employment intensive sector, providing job to about 4.42 million people, mostly from the weaker sections of the society. Women employment is predominant in leather products sector with about 30% share.
India is the second largest exporter of leather garments, third largest exporter of Saddlery & Harness and 4th largest exporter of Leather Goods in the world.
The major production centers for footwear, leather and leather products in India are located in the States of Tamil Nadu - Chennai, Ambur, Ranipet, Vaniyambadi, Vellore, Pernambut, Trichy, Dindigul and Erode; West Bengal – Kolkata; Uttar Pradesh – Kanpur, Agra, Noida, Saharanpur; Maharashtra – Mumbai; Punjab – Jalandhar; Karnataka – Bengaluru; Telengana Hyderabad; Haryana - Ambala, Gurgaon, Panchkula, Karnal and Faridabad; Delhi; Madhya Pradesh – Dewas; Kerala – Kozhikode and Ernakulam / Cochin; Rajasthan; Jaipur; Jammu & Kashmir; Srinagar.
Strengths of Indian leather sector
Own raw material source – About 3 billion sq ft of leather produced annually
Some varieties of goat / calf / sheep skins command premium position
Strong and eco-sustainable tanning base
Modernized manufacturing units
Trained / skilled manpower at competitive wage levels
World-class institutional support for Design & Product Development, HRD and R & D.
Presence of support industries like leather chemicals and finishing auxiliaries
Presence in major markets – Long Europe experience
Strategic location in the Asian landmass
Design development initiatives by institutions and individuals
Continuous modernization and technology up-gradation
Economic size of manufacturing units
Constant human resource development programme to enhance productivity
Increasing use of quality components
Shorter prototype development time
Growing domestic market for footwear and leather articles
Highlights of Product Segments of Indian Leather and Footwear Industry
Tanning Sector – Annual availability of leathers in India is about 3 billion sq.ft. India accounts for 13% of world leather production of leathers. Indian leather trends/colors are continuously being selected at the MODEUROPE Congress.
Footwear Sector – India is Second largest footwear producer after China, with Annual Production of 2.58 billion pairs (2018). India is also the second largest consumer of footwear after China, with a consumption of 2.60 billion pairs.
Footwear (leather and non-leather) export accounts for about 46.61% share in Indian leather and footwear industry’s export (2019-20).
Leather Garments Sector – India is the second largest global exporter.
Accounts for 8.46% share of India’s total export from leather sector (2019-20).
Leather Goods & Accessories Sector including Saddlery & Harness – India is the fifth largest global exporter of Leather Goods & Accessories and third largest exporter of Sadldery and Harness items.
% SHARE OF LEATHER & LEATHER PRODUCTS FY 2019-20
The major markets for Indian Leather & Leather Products are USA with a share of 17.22%, Germany 11.98%, U.K 10.43%, Italy 6.33%, France 5.94%, Spain 5.01%, Netherlands 3.52%, U.A.E 3.35%, China 2.61%, Hong Kong 2.15%, Belgium 2.21% and Poland 2.11%.
The Top 12 countries together accounts for nearly 72.86% of India’s total leather & leather products export.
Export of Leather & Leather Products to major markets like USA, Spain etc have shown positive growth and markets like Germany, UK, Italy, France, Netherlands, Hong Kong, China etc have shown negative growth during Apr–Mar 2019-20.
European Union accounts for 54.71% of India’s total export of leather and leather products.
The Government of India had identified the Leather & Footwear Sector as one of the 12 Focus Sectors where India can be a Global Supplier. With the implementation of various industrial developmental programmes as well as export promotional activities; and keeping in view the past performance, and industry’s inherent strengths of skilled manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and dedicated support of the allied industries, the Indian leather industry aims to augment the production, thereby enhance export, and resultantly create additional employment opportunities.