The ACLE 2023 concludes successfully in Shanghai.

After a four-year hiatus, the 2023 All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) was held in an optimistic atmosphere at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Halls E1-E7 on August 29-31, 2023. The exhibition covered an area of 80,500 square meters with more than 1,000 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions, including 14 international and domestic pavilions. The pavilions represented came from Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, the United States, Thailand, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Guanghua County, Pingyu County, Ou Hai County, Wuji County, and Xinji City of China.

This year’s 23rd edition of ACLE attracted more than 28,000 professional visitors, such as traders of raw hides and skins, footwear, luggage, clothing, furniture, and automotive interior manufacturers and designers. Buyers attending included retailers from related industries, and the total number of visitors was a record for the event and 20% more than the last pre-pandemic edition in 2019.

A series of onsite events of topical, commercial and educational interest complemented the three-day trade fair. These included conferences and seminars featuring topics such as the 2024 Spring/Summer Leather Trends, the International Tanning Industry Executive Summit, and the Changing Landscape of the Leather Industry. Other innovative subjects covered were the New Product and New Technology Launching Event, OEKO-TEX Leather You Can Trust, and the 2024 S/S Leather Industry Insights, gathering experts from home and abroad to discuss sustainability, new technologies, innovations, and industry trends.

As China’s premier leather trading platform, ACLE 2023 brought together industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts worldwide to showcase the latest breakthroughs in the leather industry. It provided new opportunities for expanding networks, sharing industry knowledge, and promoting business growth. In the post-pandemic era characterised by weak consumption, the Chinese leather industry suffers setbacks caused by an oversupply of raw hides and changing consumer awareness. Nevertheless, opportunities and challenges always coexist. ACLE 2023 has shown the flexibility and innovation of the leather companies and, on that basis, provided a refreshing direction for the industry.

Ms. Jane Li, Vice President of the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA), said that last year, the proportion of wet blue leather exported from the US to China had slightly decreased but is expected to soon return to normal as the economy recovers. Mr Gabriel Doria of Gobba Leather from Brazil was very happy to re-establish contact with the Chinese market after four years, and more Chinese customers are showing interest in Brazilian leather. The representatives from Fenice and Tannerie Arnal Sas also stated that despite the global economic downturn, the Chinese market remains vibrant since the rise of China’s auto manufacturing led to more demand for quality leather.

As consumption habits and concepts change, some of the leather’s functionality, practicality, and aesthetics have become necessities. As the first ACLE after the pandemic, the event exceeded the exhibitors’ expectations. China has a buoyant market as the largest raw hides importer and leather product processor. Although impacted by international situations and visa restrictions, the number of overseas buyers has slightly decreased, while domestic buyers are more active. All these signs point to positive signals and trends for China’s future leather industry development.

After four years, thousands of buyers gathered again at the All China Leather Exhibition, with those from Zhejiang, Guangdong and Shanghai in evidence. New and old friends joined the grand event, and for leather product purchasing merchants who are almost a fixture of the exhibition, there were big gains in establishing contacts with old and new suppliers. It was an excellent learning opportunity for industry newcomers who came for the first time, and future ACLE visits will also be added to the annual schedule. Overseas buyers were moved by the lively atmosphere and the crowd in the exhibition halls. Four years on, ACLE has provided refreshing surprises and proved to be a vital catalyst in the reinvigoration of China’s leather industry.

The 2024 ACLE will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre on September 3-5, 2024. See you next year!

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