A smaller role for leather?15 July 2003
Organik Kimya San ve Ticaret AS, Istanbul, recently adjusted some corporate policies which will result in a smaller proportion of chemicals supplied direct to tanneries. Like other chemical companies, they service a variety of industrial groups. The core business is polymer emulsions and half of their 40,000 metric ton capacity is exported, mainly to European customers. Leather finishing and wet-end chemicals comprised about 8-10% of their $75 million turnover. Organik do not acknowledge a move away from leather business but a decision to sell tonnage only will curtail small tannery orders. As today's selection of leathers has given end users almost unlimited choice, orders are smaller and, often, custom-tailored to each client. Chemical producers must follow suit and respond to a huge variety of inconsistent demands. But small orders keep production and R&D costs up and erode profits. Director of leather sales, Asil Fuat Duzguner, said that instead of small orders in kilograms for finished chemicals direct to tanneries, tonnage orders will be sold to formulators and distributors. Technical service and personalised orders for tanners will be the responsibility of distributors and formulators, many of whom already offer this service.