Brazil’s exports of leather hides and skins grew 24.3% to $246 million in June, compared to the prior year’s $198 million, according to an annual report released by the country’s Foreign Trade Secretariat, SECEX.
June’s exports were down 5 percent from May’s $259 million.
In the first six months of the year, Brazil’s total leather exports were up 23.5% to $1.46 million, consisting largely of finished leather followed by wet blue leather.
China took in the most of Brazil’s hides and skins with 26.7%, followed by Italy with 17.2%, the U.S. with 9.7% and Hong Kong with 9.6%.
Brazil is the world’s second largest leather producer and exporter, and the country’s considerable cattle herd coupled with its innovative production processes, technology and tradition have positioned it as a leader in leather.
According to Leather International, Brazil has roughly 210 million heads of cattle, which produce up to 43 million hides each year to supply more than 300 domestic tanneries, and these tanneries provide 45,000 jobs in the industry.
The Brazilian Leather project, developed through a partnership with the Centre for the Brazilian Tannery Industry (CICB) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), is the country’s effort to promote the industry, and the project has so far proved positive in positioning Brazil as an increasingly important leather producer.
Brazil has also been working toward sustainability in the sector and maintaining the best environmental practices at its tanneries. Improving environmental performance with regard to water consumption and management, wastewater treatment and emission reduction have been key areas of concern for sector players.
JosÃ© Fernando Bello, CICB executive chairman told Leather International, “With these initiatives, we want to ensure greater transparency to our businesses and encourage our partners to expand and enhance their responsibility to society.” He added, “These actions will certainly bring more credibility and strength to the entire sector, with positive effects on the industry, the environment and the public. Brazil is a land of great opportunity, ready to take its place as a global leader and high-technology hot spot for innovation and investment.”