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Successful Conclusion of ACLE 2023: A Positive Sign for the Leather Industry’s Recovery in Shanghai

After a four-year hiatus, the 2023 All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) returned to the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Halls E1-E7, from August 29 to 31, 2023, creating an optimistic atmosphere for the leather industry. Spanning an impressive 80,500 square meters, the exhibition featured over 1,000 exhibitors representing 29 countries and regions, including 14 international and domestic pavilions. These pavilions showcased products and expertise from countries like Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, the United States, Thailand, Pakistan, and China Taiwan. Additionally, several Chinese regions, such as Guanghua County, Pingyu County, Ou Hai County, Wuji County, and Xinji City, participated in the event.

The 23rd edition of ACLE in 2023 garnered substantial attention, attracting more than 28,000 professional visitors. These attendees represented a diverse range of industries, including traders dealing in raw hides and skins, as well as manufacturers and designers involved in footwear, luggage, clothing, furniture, and automotive interiors. Notably, the event set a new record for visitor numbers, with a 20% increase compared to the last pre-pandemic edition held in 2019.

The three-day trade fair was more than just a showcase; it was a comprehensive experience featuring various on-site events of commercial and educational interest. These events included conferences and seminars on topics like the 2024 Spring/Summer Leather Trends, the International Tanning Industry Executive Summit, and the Changing Landscape of the Leather Industry. These gatherings facilitated discussions on sustainability, new technologies, innovations, and industry trends. Additionally, the event featured sessions such as the New Product and New Technology Launching Event and OEKO-TEX Leather You Can Trust, providing a platform for experts from around the world to share their knowledge and insights.

ACLE 2023 stood as China’s premier leather trading platform, bringing together global industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts to highlight the latest breakthroughs in the leather sector. It served as an invaluable opportunity for expanding networks, sharing industry knowledge, and promoting business growth. In a post-pandemic era marked by cautious consumer spending, China’s leather industry faced challenges stemming from an oversupply of raw hides and evolving consumer preferences. However, ACLE 2023 demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of leather companies and set a promising course for the industry’s future.

Ms. Jane Li, Vice President of the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA), noted that the proportion of wet blue leather exported from the US to China had slightly decreased in the previous year but was expected to rebound as the economy recovered. Mr. Gabriel Doria of Gobba Leather from Brazil expressed his delight at reconnecting with the Chinese market after a four-year gap, with more Chinese customers showing interest in Brazilian leather. Representatives from Fenice and Tannerie Arnal Sas also emphasized that the Chinese market remained vibrant despite global economic challenges, thanks to the rising demand for quality leather in China’s auto manufacturing sector.

As consumption habits and concepts evolve, the functionality, practicality, and aesthetics of leather have become essential in various industries. The first ACLE after the pandemic exceeded expectations, with China’s buoyant market standing out as the largest raw hides importer and leather product processor. While international situations and visa restrictions slightly impacted the number of overseas buyers, domestic buyers exhibited increased activity. These trends suggest a positive outlook for the future of China’s leather industry.

After a four-year gap, thousands of buyers once again gathered at the All China Leather Exhibition. Visitors from regions like Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Shanghai were prominently featured, renewing connections with old and new suppliers. For newcomers to the industry, ACLE offered an excellent learning opportunity, likely leading to future visits becoming an annual tradition. Overseas buyers were captivated by the lively atmosphere and bustling exhibition halls. Four years on, ACLE has delivered a revitalizing boost to China’s leather industry.

Looking forward, the 2024 ACLE is scheduled to be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from September 3 to 5, 2024. See you next year!

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