The Asia Pacific Leather Fair in Hong Kong, held on March 28-30, was less busy than its previous edition, according to some exhibitors who questioned the fair’s effectiveness. The sourcing section attracted more attention than the finished products section, where the focus was on handbags. The fair, now in its 23rd year, reflected the way in which tanneries are facing the price problems in the leather industry: prices of hides are increasing but retailers and wholesalers are not keen on paying more due to ongoing competitive demand for cheap products. Some tanneries also expressed concern about the possible weakening of the U.S. economy. The fair’s Brazilian section was especially crowded, indicating how hides in dollar contracts appeal to European buyers, due to the weakening of the U.S. dollar, and how South American hides are considered to be of higher quality than those from Africa, Asia and Australia.