S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 No.34, August 28, 2017
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AHT: Shock decision to close may push leather prices down
Port Elizabeth (SA) –
South Africa may lose a second wet blue plant in quick succession with the unexpected announcement that African Hide Trading (AHT) will close at the end of September.
Courthiel Holdings MD Kevin Wright told staff on Wednesday last week of his decision to close the business, which was founded in 1948. On Friday, in response to questions, he said AHT MD Phillip Staples was "no longer with the company", and that he had taken over as MD for the winding down phase.
He said the intention was to close the company on September 30, but that "between now and then, a variety of things might happen", and that he would be open to offers to take over the business.
He refused to say why he had taken the decision.
AHT is a hide and skin trader, wet blue plant and fellmonger which processes 2 500-3 000 hides and 3 000-4 000 skins per day, making it one of the largest such companies in SA. Industry insiders said no other company had the capacity to take over that production. It has a network of hide and skin collectors throughout southern Africa, including subsidiary SM Lurie (Pty) Ltd (Botswana).
A staff member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said high hide and skin prices had been a problem. He said automotive leather tannery Seton SA, formerly a major customer of AHT's wet blue production, had stopped buying from the company.
A chemical supplier, also speaking anonymously, said AHT had had "technical issues" with its wet blues, which had led to Seton stopping buying.
There was no comment from Seton at the time of writing.
Few people in the leather industry had been aware that AHT was a subsidiary of Courthiel, itself a subsidiary of Claus Daun's Daun & Cie. Daun, along with Staples, AHT marketing director Steven Broughton and retired former AHT MD Paul Ward, owned Springbok Trading, which competed with, then bought out AHT in 2003. Shortly thereafter, Courthiel bought out the other shareholders.
An obvious candidate to buy AHT is rival Cape Produce Company (CPC), situated across the road in Markman Industria. CPC MD Benjy Lapiner, who is currently overseas, said in an email: "No comment at this stage - still early days."
SM Lurie MD Gerda Brooks said over the weekend she would "definitely" be interested in acquiring the company, but that it was too early to say anything definitive.
As reported in the last newsletter, wet blue plant Sutherland Tannery went into liquidation last week. The surviving major wet blue plants are Brits Leather Group, CPC, Midland Tannery and SA Dorper. The other major fellmongers are CPC, Richard Kane & Co and SA Dorper.
The closure of AHT may impact on hide and skin prices, and therefore on finished leather prices.
Messe Frankfurt buys Source Africa, ATF
Cape Town (SA) –
Messe Frankfurt, which is "the third largest trade show organiser in the world", according to a release, has bought the Source Africa and ATF trade fairs from LTE, effective from January 2018.
It will hold a presentation in Cape Town on September 8.
In South Africa, it has 5 Johannesburg-based fairs, Automechanika, Futuroad and SA Motoring Experience, Scalex, and the Johannesburg Boat Show. Globally, it is particularly strong in textile and apparel shows, including Leatherworld Middle East, which was launched last year. - [Kathryn.Frew@southafrica.messefrankfurt.com]
Meanwhile, LTE is going ahead with the November ATF Show.
The annual Apparel, Textile and Footwear Import Trade Exhibition will take place from November 21-23 at the CTICC in Cape Town.
It will offer an opportunity for local importers and international manufacturers to meet with chain and independent retailers and other industry decision makers. Exhibitors will include manufacturers and suppliers from South Africa, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Belarus and Estonia. In addition, the China Premium Tex Trade Show will again take place in the same hall featuring 100 reputable manufacturers from China.
The 3 day trade exhibition will also focus on investment opportunities in Southern Africa. Potential exhibitors and visitors can register online at www.atfexpo.co.za. There is no cost to visit the show, but pre-registration is necessary. Organisers: LTE – leaders in trade exhibitions. - [+27 (0)21 790 5849, email@example.com]
They Said It
"So you’re sweet enough then. Thought you might take 3 heaped sugars - ha, ha, ha." - Karen Bowman, MD's PA at Apeco, in response to some poor soul saying he didn't take sugar. OK, it was me.
"I was so fed up I just had to go out and play golf for the rest of the day." - Malome Leather Technologies' Sam Wells' response to news of African Hide Trading's impending closure.
October 14: Cobblers' Luncheon, Goodwood Sports Club, Cape Town. Voden Wearne, +27 (0)21 551 4032, Voden.Wearne@apeco.co.za.
November 21-23: ATF Trade Exhibition, Cape Town International Convention Centre. Deidre Harte, +27 (0)21 790 5849, firstname.lastname@example.org
Birthdays this week
28/08/1947: Kathy Graham, retired, formerly Bagshaw, Port Elizabeth.
28/08/1964: Maon Saxe, Lonshoe Holdings, Cape Town.
28/08/1969: Craig Munro, Crafcor Hart Hides, Pietermaritzburg.
29/08/1961: Steve Miller, Franco Ceccato, Cape Town.
29/08/1976: Minesh Gangiah, Impact Industries Footwear Manufacturers, Durban.
29/08/19??: Indira B Ambaram, JFK Trading, Durban.
31/08/1956: Billy Moodley, BM Agencies, Durban.
01/09/1941: Stan Kotkin, Footwear Trading, Johannesburg.
01/09/1942: Judy Vincent, Saddler Belts & Leathercraft, Durban.
01/09/1971: Antonella Florio, Vanity, Ladybrand.
02/09/1941: Saag Jonker, Ostrich Products SA, Oudtshoorn.
02/09/1960: Arveen Boodhoo, Dick Whittington Shoes, Pietermaritzburg.
02/09/1952: Derek Ellway, formerly Inspectashoe [closed], Cape Town, now in the UK.
02/09/1963: Sunil Daya, Randy’s Agency, Port Elizabeth.
03/09/1953: Vic Jablowski, Protech V, Pinetown.
03/09/1970: Michel Hasson, Topaz, Cape Town.
In Memoriam this week
28/08/1997: Richard Denton (b. 24/06/1914), Ricmar group [closed], Durban.
28/08/2013: Tony Denton (b. 06/03/1943), Ricmar group [closed], Himeville.
30/08/1997: Neville Socher, Medicus agent.
10/04/1944: Willem Delft, Bobbie Leathers, Uganda.
01/09/2012: Mike Cromhout (b. 06/02/1947), agent, Cape Town.
03/09/2005: Oliver Guibert (b. 23/12/?), Bata Zimbabwe.
Do you have any names you’d like to add to our list of birthdays and In Memoriam? Please send the details.
ABSA Agri Trends 25/08: Hides & skins prices
The average bovine hide price over the past week was R13.93/kg green. Hide prices are determined by the average of RMAA and independent companies. The average price for Dorper skins was R43.75/skin and Merino was R100.96/skin.
|Hide & skin price progression
Trade Fair dates
For a list of local and international trade fairs covering footwear, leather goods, leather and PPE, visit our website:
Seeking African agencies for N America
Don and Sel is a Manufacturers' Representative based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Founded by Zimbabwean-born leather purist, Tinashe Mandirahwe, who is well aware of the types of footwear, leather and leather goods in Africa especially Southern Africa. We seek to represent select companies that would like to penetrate the USA and Canada markets. Being positioned in Atlanta gives us a good edge. Atlanta has been seeing growth in almost all areas of the economy - logistics, service, real estate and film industries. Georgia has also been ranked the top state in the nation to do business. Let us explore the possibilities together. We are commission based. Contact Tinashe at DonAndSel@consultant.com / +1-678-431-9626
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Next newsletter: September 4, 2017.
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