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More to do in Shanghai

Published: 31st May 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor
ACLE coincides with World Leather Congress
Shanghai, China - The 20th edition of the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) (August 30-September 1) will be preceded on August 29 by the 3rd World Leather Congress (WLC), also in Shanghai, themed 'The Leather Revolution'. 
These 2 major events are the most important to be organised in China in recent decades and each one should complement the other in terms of both attendance and interest, especially as there are now clear signs that China’s leather industry is performing much better than in recent years. The proximity of the 3rd WLC and ACLE offer an opportunity for the global leather sector to participate at both. 
Just months ago the 33rd edition of APLF culminated on a successful note in Hong Kong reflecting the emergence of the leather sector from the slowdown noted since September 2014 when high prices effectively priced leather out of the footwear manufacturing sector as producers turned to cheaper synthetics to maintain profit margins. 
On April 12 the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA) published an encouraging report on the first 2 months' activity of the sector in China: 
“...in the first two month of 2017, the industry saw a 5.6% increase in sales revenue, 1.1% decline in exports and a 10% increase in imports, particularly for imports of finished leather, semi-finished leather and raw hides and skins. This increase in imports will benefit the world leather industry.”
Since then China’s economic growth has rebounded back up to 6.9% in Q1 beating expectation and consumer spending continues to increase at a pace of just over 10% – far outstripping any other major economy in the world. 
The recent speech by China’s President Xi outlining a major infrastructure Belt & Road project worth tens of billions of dollars to boost trade – also known as the New Silk Road – with its main trading partners in Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond is being taken on board by investors.
Globally it is the automotive and furniture upholstery sectors that are maintaining and even boosting demand for leather with China’s automotive sector due to approach 30 million units sold this year for the first time of any country in history. 
This year, despite increasing demand, there is little likelihood that leather prices will move sharply higher as they did in 2014. There is an abundance of bovine hides in the US due to slaughter rates topping over 600 000 per week. In fact, since the APLF fair ended in Hong Kong on 31 March, prices have softened which is not a bad thing from a manufacturing and demand point of view as leather is more competitive. 
This year’s seminar schedule will be published soon on the ACLE website and publicised in the APLF e-Newsletter. Sales for ACLE 2017 are currently in full swing and so far 80% of available space in the eight halls used has been sold. The fair covers 92 000 m², including a new national pavilion from Uganda. 
 
New Innovation Lab Sector launched 
 
After the successful revamp of APLF’s materials and components sector as Materials+ at the APLF fair last March, a decision has been taken to launch a similar sector at ACLE 2017 called “Innovations Lab”. Innovation Lab @ACLE is an incubator of innovative ideas. It will be located in Hall E2 where more activities such as the open seminars will also be held. 
The participants in Innovation Lab will be manufacturers of innovative products or with technological innovation on machines, materials and components that are completely new to ACLE or existing manufacturers that wish to display the latest working machines for the first time at the show this year. 
This year the organisers will focus on recruiting buyers and decision makers from the automotive and furniture sectors that are based in the major manufacturing provinces of Mainland China such Chongqing, Guangdong, Shanghai, Beijing and Jilin. 
This year the organisers have provided each exhibitor with an online showroom. This is an online sourcing platform where exhibitors can display their company description and product information. This online portal receives more than 130,000 page views per month, allows visitors to make enquiries online and get in touch with exhibitors on a 24/7 basis. 
Last year's ACLE attracted more than 23 000 visitors, with almost 20 000 from China. - [www.aclechina.com]
©2017 S&V Publications
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