In June, leather exports from India slipped by 3 percent to $272.6 million compared with June 2009, mostly hurt by currency effects. With 60 percent of the country's leather exports going to the European Union, the weak euro hit the industry hard. Finished leather and leathergoods saw growth, but saddlery, harnesses and shoe components performed poorly.

Exports of leather products had risen in April and May. Overall, they increased by 12.7 percent for the three months ended on June 30, reaching a level of $757.3 million. Exports of leather shoes grew by 15.4 percent to $278.5 million. Exports of finished leather increased by 25.4 percent to $174.4 million and leathergoods exports were up by 15.2 percent to $161.9 million.

Foreign shipments of non-leather footwear were up by 4.2 percent to $4.5 million and those of footwear components were down by 10.2 percent to $50.7 million, confirming a trend toward more value-added production.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has passed a variety of measures intended to boost exports of labor-intensive products, including leather and derivatives. New subsidized loans are being granted to upgrade machinery and equipment. An interest rebate of 2 percent that was introduced last April on loans for handicrafts, carpets and handlooms production will be extended to leather, leathergoods and textiles and will remain in place through next March. Rebates on certain import taxes will be extended until next June.