Fimec sets Novo Hamburgo buzzing

24 April 2006

At the opening ceremony of the Fimec fair secretary of development for Rio Grande do Sul Luis Roberto Ponte complained fiercely about the impact of the weak dollar and high interest rates on the Brazilian leather sector. CICB President Umberto Sachelli added that there is an urgent need for an industrial policy favouring exporting companies. He also underlined the seriousness of the dollar situation. President of Fenac, Julio Camerini, stated the need for a closer partnership between the state and the private sector in Brazil, demanding a modern flexible state which responds rapidly to the needs of industry. It appears that the footwear sector in Brazil is under strong competitive pressure at the moment against Asia, and particularly China. This is not helped by the strength of the Real against the US dollar which is now 2.12 compared with 2.7 Reals to the dollar one year ago. This affects a number Brazilian tanners to a lesser extent as they can always sell the leather as wet-blue or crust for export. It is more difficult for those who sell finished leather on the domestic market. Anton Eskens of Corium Quimica told Leather International: '2006 has been an excellent edition of Fimec, with many more international visitors than previous editions.' The 30th edition of Fimec was held at the Fenac exhibition grounds, Novo Hamburgo from April 5-8. The fair focused on trends for spring summer 2007 and the latest tanning and footwear machinery on offer. The event covered an area of 40,000 sq m with exhibitors from 35 countries. Exhibiting companies included 259 components for footwear and manufactured goods, 75 tanning chemicals companies, 72 tanning machinery companies and 66 tanneries. 78% of exhibitors were from Brazil, followed by Italy with 11% and Argentina (3%). Visitor numbers totalled 54,000 although the fact that entry is not restricted to buyers makes it difficult to monitor the number of serious professionals attending. Although Fimec was a lively and busy show it is very difficult to tell if it accurately reflects the true market in Brazil. The next edition of Fimec will take place from April 17-20, 2007.

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