The European anti-dumping duties on leather shoes from China and Vietnam have had an effect on China’s global exports of leather footwear. They declined by 6 percent to 1,312 million in 2007, although they increased in value by 9 percent to US$9.6 billion. Conversely, China’s imports of leather shoes increased by 42 percent to 11.3 million pairs, with a 48 percent in their value to $3.1 billion.

On the other hand, China recorded increases of 7 percent in volume and 17 percent in value for its exports of rubber and plastic shoes, reaching a level of 4.67 billion pairs worth $9.4 billion. Exports of canvas shoes rose by 12 percent in volume and by 21 percent in value, up to 1.44 billion pairs worth $3.4 billion. Including other categories, total shoe exports went up by 7 percent in volume to 8,175 million pairs, and their value increased by 15 percent to $24.1 billion.

The total output of the Chinese leather sector was estimated at $12.4 billion in 2007, up by 20.7 percent, and it led to 20 percent higher profits of $3.3 billion, according to the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA), which gave them during the APLF show taking place now in Hong Kong.

The output of finished leather increased by 9 percent to 680 million square meters. Imports of finished leather were flat, but those of wetblue jumped by 32 percent to a record of $1.1 billion. Exports of wetblue and finished leather were down by 54 percent and 32 percent, respectively. New environmental regulations and the reduction in export tax rebates led many Chinese tanneries to downsize their production.