Brazil Catching Up to China on Leather Exports

Brazilian leather hats Leather exports from Brazil should rise from the US$ 1.8 billion, recorded last year, to approximately US$ 6 billion in eight years' time. The estimate was made by the Public Policies professor at the University of BrasÀ­lia (UnB), Ricardo Caldas.

Caldas was one of the lecturers at the Regional Seminar on Leather – Trends, Design, Market, and Business, which took place last week in the Pantanal Event Center, in the midwestern Brazilian city of Cuiabá.

According to Caldas, the estimates are based on the average annual growth rate for the sector in the country, which is around 20% per year.

"Brazil leaped up from US$ 800 million exported in 2001 to US$ 1.8 billion last year. Estimated leather exports for the current year stand at US$ 2.2 billion, and US$ 2.8 billion for next year," he stated.

The country occupies the second position in the global ranking of export values, second only to China, which exported the equivalent of US$ 3.7 billion last year.

Nevertheless, according to Ricardo Caldas, Chinese exports tend to become stable, and forecasts indicate that the two countries should be on the same level by 2015. That translates into exports of around US$ 6 billion.

In terms of quantity, China is the global leader in leather production – with production of 55 million units per year, or 16% of the global market, and Brazil ranks in the second place, at 44 million units, or 13%. By 2015, China should hold its first position at 25% (80 million units), and Brazil should reach 70 million units, the equivalent of 20% of the forecasted global market.

Mato Grosso State

Despite having the country's largest cattle herd, at more than 26 million heads, the midwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso still ranks eighth in the national exporter ranking, losing to the states of São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Ceará, Bahia, and Goiás. In 2006, the state of Mato Grosso exported nearly 1.7 million units, totaling US$ 72.96 million.

Even though it occupies the eighth position in the raking, the state of Mato Grosso has been recording constant growth in the sector. From 2005 to 2006, the exported amount increased by 88.16%, rising from 866,000 units to 1.7 million units, whereas export values rose by 144.25%. That is, they increased from US$ 29.87 million to 72.96 million.

According to the president of the Union of Tannery Industries of the State of Mato Grosso (Sincurt), Marcelo Paes de Barros, the growth is even greater when compared with, for instance, four years ago. "In 2003, production in the state stood at 15,000 to 16,000 units, whereas we are currently producing 34,000 units per day, which is much more than a twofold increase."

The Regional Leather Seminar is promoted by the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) in Mato Grosso, with support from the state government, the State of Mato Grosso Research Foundation (Fapemat), the Secretariat of Industry, Trade, Mines and Energy of the State of Mato Grosso (Sicme), the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and Supply, and the Federal Agro-technical School of Cáceres.

Sebrae

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