ACLE – a very successful event

October 14, 2009 - China

The Chinese leather industry is registering less severe declines and showing its first signs of recovery since last year,according to the China Leather Industry Association(CLIA). This was confirmed by enthusiastic participants at the 2009 All China International Leather Exhibition (ACLE).

Exhibitors were busy until the last moment seeking new relationships, reinforcing old ones, and offering new products. “ACLE is the only platform available to learn about the market and to meet potential customers”, said General Manager Rafique Nadaf of Allanasons Ltd, India’s largest commodities exporter. The 3-day event - held alongside Moda Shanghai and China International Footwear Fair (CIFF) and organised jointly by APLF and CLIA - attracted over 14,354 buyers. The fairs primarily service domestic Chinese buyers, although there were visitors fromoverseas with strong participation from Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.

“The exhibiting products are innovative and there is a wide product range. By holding leather together with footwear, luggage and garments, it enables buyers to source in one place at one time. The fairs are also very professional and well-organised,” noted Chinese buyer Liang Hai Ping of Haining Haixiang Group Co. Ltd.

Exhibitors at ACLE showcased the latest in innovation, fashion and production technology. Paradoxically, while it is one of the oldest manufacturing industries in the world, leather is using the latest technologies. For its first showing in Shanghai, Italian company Praktica’s newest inkjet printer uses nano-technology to penetrate and print on every material, crystal, ceramics, leather and metal included, without prior treatment and with a perfectly smooth aspect. Manufacturers at ACLE also featured alternative chemicals and more environmental friendly processes.

One topic discussed heavily on fair grounds is the growing importance of China’s automotive sector in the leather industry. Mark Stribbling spoke on behalf of the new joint-venture business between Scottish Bridge of Weir Leather Company and Chinese Zibow Polygrace Dahuanjiu Tannery Group: “The automotive sector in China contributes to the recovery of the leather industry in China. It is not easy to quantify this but with the growth of the car industry in China, together with the high leather penetration in cars here, it seems clear that this is the case”.

Back on the topic of the well-attended fair, Thomas Sattler, director of global business management for leather chemicals at BASF said that ACLE has been busy. While over the years they had withdrawn from a number of fairs, Sattler deemed the fair as a “good place to be” and has already reserved a space at ACLE 2010. Sharing the same sentiment was Sateesh Jadhav of Gaitonde in India, who is now also the secretary of the Indian Leather Manufacturers Association: “ACLE has been very successful,” he said. Jadhav said he discovered at this year’s show that the China market is big business for tanners: “We have found that higher quality leathers are now made into articles which stay in China - and are sold to Chinese consumers”.