11 September 2023

The Recovery of the Leather Industry Sends Positive Signals as ACLE 2023 came to a Successful Conclusion in Shanghai

After a four-year hiatus, the 2023 All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) was held in an optimistic atmosphere at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Halls E1-E7 on August 29-31, 2023. The exhibition covered an area of 80,500 square meters with more than 1,000 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions, including 14 international and domestic pavilions. The pavilions represented came from Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, the United States, Thailand, Pakistan, China Taiwan, as well as Guanghua County, Pingyu County, Ou Hai County, Wuji County, and Xinji City of China.

This year’s 23rd edition of ACLE attracted more than 28,000 professional visitors, such as traders of raw hides and skins, as well as footwear, luggage, clothing, furniture, and automotive interior manufacturers and designers. Buyers attending included retailers from related industries, and the total number of visitors was an all-time record for the event and 20% more than the last pre-pandemic edition in 2019.

The three-day trade fair was complemented by a series of onsite events of topical, commercial and educational interest. These included conferences and seminars featuring topics such as the 2024 Spring/Summer Leather Trends, the International Tanning Industry Executive Summit, and the Changing Landscape of the Leather Industry. Other innovative subjects covered were the New Product and New Technology Launching Event, OEKO-TEX Leather You can Trust, and the 2024 S/S Leather Industry Insights, gathering experts from home and abroad to discuss sustainability, new technologies, innovations, and industry trends.

As China’s premier leather trading platform, ACLE 2023 brought together industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts around the world, to showcase the latest breakthroughs in the leather industry, and provided new opportunities for expanding networks, sharing industry knowledge, and promoting business growth. In the post-pandemic era characterised by a weak consumption, the Chinese leather industry is suffering setbacks caused by an oversupply of raw hides and changing consumer awareness. Nevertheless, opportunities and challenges always coexist. ACLE 2023 has shown the flexibility and innovation of the leather companies and, on that basis, provided a refreshing direction for the industry.

Ms. Jane Li, Vice President of the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) said that last year, the proportion of wet blue leather exported from the US to China had slightly decreased but is expected to soon return to normal as the economy recovers. Mr. Gabriel Doria of Gobba Leather from Brazil was very happy to re-establish contact with the Chinese market after four years and that more Chinese customers are showing interest in Brazilian leather. The representatives from Fenice and Tannerie Arnal Sas also stated that despite the global economic downturn, the Chinese market remains vibrant since the rise of China’s auto manufacturing led to more demand for quality leather.

As consumption habits and concepts change, some of the functionality, practicality, and aesthetics of leather have now become necessities. As the first ACLE after the pandemic, the event went beyond the expectations of the exhibitors. China has a buoyant market as the largest raw hides importer and leather product processor. Although impacted by international situations and visa restrictions, the number of overseas buyers has slightly decreased, while domestic buyers are more active. All these signs point to positive signals and trends for the future development of China’s leather industry.

After four years, thousands of, buyers gathered once again at the All China Leather Exhibition, with those from Zhejiang, Guangdong and Shanghai in evidence. New and old friends joined the grand event and for leather product purchasing merchants who are almost a fixture of the exhibition, there were big gains in establishing contacts with old and new suppliers. For industry newcomers who came for the first time, it was an excellent learning opportunity, and future visits to the ACLE will also be added to the annual schedule. Overseas buyers were moved by the lively atmosphere and the crowd in the exhibition halls. Four years on, ACLE provided refreshing surprises and has proved itself to be a vital catalyst in the reinvigoration of China’s leather industry.

Looking ahead, the 2024 ACLE will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre on September 3-5, 2024. See you next year!

All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) is the first and only international leather fair in China. ACLE is known as the premier event for international companies seeking opportunities in China’s huge markets – the focus of the global leather industry. Since its inception back in 1998, ACLE has welcomed hundreds of thousands of professional buyers from the main tannery and leather goods / footwear manufacturing provinces of Mainland China.

ACLE targets the Chinese tanning (upstream) sectors which are sourcing raw hides and skins, semi-finished leather, leather chemicals and leather machineries to manufacture into finished leather to be used in the domestic footwear, leather goods and automotive upholstery sectors.

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