Cotance ask EU for action on raw materials

14 October 2010

Following a meeting of the Cotance Council on October 12, (Cotance is made up of representatives of the European leather industry under the chairmanship of Albert Roselló, Serpelsa, Spain) reviewed the sector’s state of trade expressing highest concern over the increasing scarcity of hides and skins and worrying price developments.

According to Cotance, access to raw materials at reasonable prices has become the prime issue for all the sector’s operators. Prices have rocketed since the beginning of 2009 reaching unsustainable levels and risking the post-crisis market recovery. Demand for leather from European tanneries is recovering but is still fragile following the main impact of the financial crisis.

Raw material prices have increased between 50 to 170% according to product categories over the last 18 months and tanners say that the situation is becoming unsustainable. There is a risk that European operators may be driven out of business.

Cotance say that raw material price volatility has been exacerbated by the proliferation of raw material export restrictions applied by an increasing number of trade partners while access to European hides and skins remains open. Subsidised access to European raw materials by non-EU competitors constitutes a serious threat as it reduces the availability and drives prices up.

Cotance is calling on the European Commission (EC) to ease the situation and not refrain any longer from using export restrictions on European raw materials. European tanners also call on EU member state governments to exert on EU authorities the ‘necessary pressure’ they said in a statement.

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