Lineapelle attempts to kick-start a dull market

1 July 2001

High raw material prices and the slowdown of the US and Japanese markets dominated discussions during the Lineapelle show held in May. The show, which featured 619 tanneries, also featured the trend selection area highlighting leather fashion forecasts for the spring/summer 2002 season. The hot topic at the show was the turmoil created by European livestock epidemics, which have cut meat consumption and lowered the number of raw hides and skins available. 'The feeling in the marketplace is different to the last edition of Lineapelle held in November when we were quite optimistic. Now we have lower consumption which is linked to a decline in the US economy', said Salvatore Mercogliano, director, Unic (Italian tanners' association). 'There is a static situation at the moment and I hope that Lineapelle kick starts a recovery. 'We have witnessed problems with raw materials caused by diseases in Europe which has led to a decrease in the number of hides available', he added. Reporting on the fair, Switzerland based raw hide and leather suppliers, Ernesto Moos said: 'We confirmed our previously expressed concern that the market appears to have topped out. We would call the mood as one of 'awaiting developments' and a 'wait and see' attitude was apparent with the market guessing if and how much the market will decline during the next few weeks or months.' Some in the industry spoke of reduced footwear orders from the US which, in general were about 10 - 15% lower than previous orders or expectations. At the same time upholstery tanners appear to be facing a slump. Moos' report confirms that most tanners are unable to pass on corresponding price increases from their suppliers to their customers. The report states: 'With pending holidays in Europe it is not surprising that buyers held back with orders and did not dare pass low bids as a price decline 'which is in the air is still uncertain.' The report also mentions that the situation for sheep, lamb and goat skins is not as critical as it is for all types of bovine leathers. As far as the trend selections were concerned many designers appeared interested in strong bright colours for footwear, garment and leathergoods leathers while upholstery remained more traditional. A full report on the trends at Lineapelle can be seen later in this issue. Lineapelle took place at the Bologna Fiera, May 8 - 10, with the Simac exhibition alongside. Lineapelle featured 1,550 exhibitors from 45 countries and covered an area of 50,046m2. A total of 487 exhibitors were from outside Italy. The next edition takes place from November 6 - 8, 2001.

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