A very Happy Christmas/New Year to all20 December 2012
As can be seen by export and import numbers for Chinese products, the trend is well underway where Chinese consumers will demand better quality products regardless of what they are. Well attuned local manufacturers and retailers are already catering to this trade and much of it is in leather goods that include auto and furniture upholstery, footwear, handbags, etc.
Looking back, this occurred in Japan 50 years ago, and later in Taiwan and Korea. As economies improve, and especially today with the globalisation of advertising that easily influences buying decisions. Regardless of product origin or home country of the producer, a Chinese consumer wants the same Coach handbag or Timberland shoe, as does the shopper in Boston or Chicago. The same for quality upholstery.
Retailers are seeing this and expanding accordingly, be they Prada, Ferragamo, Coach, General Motors, Toyota and on and on. This is also why hide prices have, in large part, risen to unparalleled levels in order to feed the enormous and still rapidly rising demand for leather goods in China.
Industry sources tell us that if you are a tanner in China or elsewhere, and have a product for the Chinese domestic market, you can cope with current price levels. If your business however caters for example to International footwear brands, even with the latest round of leather price increases, you are still struggling.
We don’t foresee any change in this paradigm anytime soon.