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New trends in the export of leather and leather garments.

New Trends in the Export of Leather and Leather Garments

The export of leather constituted 78 per cent of the total exports of leather sector during 1979-80 whereas the export of other value added goods was 22 per cent. However, during 1989-90 the exports in leather contributed 52 per cent of the total exports of leather sector and the export of leather products including footwear and leather garments contributed 48 per cent

With the creation of Pakistan, on 14th August, 1947, the history of leather industry starts. At that time the leather industry was in its infancy and country's entire production of hides and skins was exported in the raw form. Gradually Pakistan started exporting vegetable tanned leather in crust form together with the raw hides and skins. Later in late sixties most of the leather exported from Pakistan was in the form of chrome wetblue state and exports of raw hides and skins was curtailed to the minimum. The requirement of local footwear and leather goods industry for finished leather was met mostly from supplies from the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). But after the separation of East Pakistan, due to non-availability of sufficient raw material (Hides & Skins) from that part of the sub-continent shortage of finished leather for footwear and leather goods became acute. To overcome this position the leather and leather goods industry in Pakistan under the patronage of government, worked hard for years together and have reached to a stage where this industry now stands as the 2nd biggest foreign exchange earner after textiles: although this tremendous achievement had fortunately been without much depending on training and education to workers, technicians, technologists and the leather scientists. At present about 436 industrial units are spread all over the country and manufacturing good quality leather, not only for local consumption but for the export purposes as well. The province-wise break-up of the tanning units is as under:
 Punjab 301
 Sindh 117
 NWFP 15
 Balochistan 1
 A.J. & Kashmir 2
 Total 436


The basic raw material for leather and leather products is Hides and Skins. The entire development of Leather and leather products depends upon the availability of good quality Hides & Skins. The availability of Hides and Skins during 1989-90 is as under:
 Cow Hides 2.35 million
 Buffalo Hides 3.41 million
 Goat Skins 20.16 million
 Sheep Skins 15.01 million


Apart from the above mentioned quantities of Hides and Skins available in the country, Hides and Skins are also being imported from abroad for re-exporting the same in the form of finished leather and leather products. The quality of Hides and Skins imported during the year 1989-90 are as under:
Item Quantity Value
 (Million) (Rs. in Million)
Hides 0.53 11.490
 Goat Skins 0.095 10.829
 Sheep Skins 1.07 109.950


The aim of the export drive is to increase the country's foreign exchange earning. Pakistan leather is much acceptable in the international market and it is confirmed from the figures of leather exports for the last five years which are as under:
 Year (Rs. in Million)
 1985-86 2900.00
 1986-87 4078.94
 1987-88 5111.47
 1988-89 4739.32
 1989-90 6006.04


The export of leather constituted 78 per cent of the total exports of leather sector during 1979-80 whereas the export of other value added goods was 22 per cent. However, during 1989-90 the exports in leather contributed 52 per cent of the total exports of leather sector and the export of leather products including footwear and leather garments contributed 48 per cent as detailed below:
Items % (Rs. in million)
Leather 52.20 6006.046


Leather
 Footwear 0.82% 94.878
Leather Balls 9.77% 1123.518
Leather Goods 6.78% 48.80 779.205


Leather
 Garments 29.65% 3411.172
Leather Goods 0.78% 90.752
 5499.525
 11505.571


The principal buyers of leather and leather products are Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Korea, West Germany etc. It may be seen from the above export figures that 52 per cent of total leather produced, is being exported in the form of finished leather and 48 per cent is converted into value added leather products, and out of this 48 per cent, 30 per cent is utilized by the leather garments industry alone and only 18 per cent by footwear, balls, gloves, and other leather goods industries.

Leather garments are manufactured on small and medium scale mainly at Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot and all its production is export oriented. In Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot more than 120 units are manufacturing leather garments. Due to marked increase in the demand for leather garments, the garment manufacturing sector has shown remarkable growth in production. The export data for the last five years is as under:
 Year Value in Million
 1985-86 721.40
 1986-87 1160.21
 1987-88 1876.49
 1988-89 1976.02
 1989-90 3211.17


Export of leather and leather garments can only further increase if they are competitive in price and in quality by converting semi-finished leather into a high quality finished leather conforming to the international standards As such further development of tanning/finishing techniques are highly imperative to earn more and more foreign exchange by exporting leather and leather garments at competitive price and of high standard in quality. To achieve this goal it is but natural that maximum facilities for producing high class leather may be created in the tanneries and latest techniques may be applied in the manufacture of leather garments e.g. Assembly line system for their bulk production as is being done in Korea. Korea and India are our biggest competitors for this item (leather garments) in the work markets. Moreover training of workers in the manufacturing of high class garments, as per required specification by buyers is extremely essential at training centres or training institutes level, and that such trained workers should be paid adequately. Such steps if adopted may bring a good dividend to the garment industry.
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Title Annotation:Pakistan
Author:Muneer, S.M.
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Words:991
Previous Article:Pakistan knitwear industry.
Next Article:Market report of viscose fibre.
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