Leather goods: breakdown of world exports in value by country 2018

In 2019, 40.8 percent of the global value of exported leather goods were realized by China, making the country the leading exporter for leather goods in the world. Italy and France represented the traditional European tanning industry, with respectively 14.8 percent and 11.5 percent of the global export value for this product. Other Asian countries, such as Vietnam and India also had a share of the global export value: Vietnam with 5.7 percent and India with 2.7 percent of the worldwide export value. The value of Chinese exports of leather shoes decreased from 13.75 billion U.S dollars in 2014 to 9.3 billion U.S dollars in 2017.

Italy is one of the leading countries in terms of leather production

Considered one of the leading countries in the world market for leather goods, Italy exported in 2017 most of the output from its leather tanning industry to EU countries: around 42.7 percent of its 2017 output went to EU countries among which France, Romania, Spain, Germany or Hungary. According to the Italian National Tanning Industry Union, around 60 percent of the leather produced in Italy in 2017 was destined to the production of footwear and other leather goods.

The Italian leather goods industry seems to be faring well in comparison to the Chinese industry

Even with the growing importance of other global leather producers and the Chinese dominance of the worldwide exports, Italy still achieved record growth in 2017 and the production value of the leather tanning industry in Italy has remained stable. In 2017, the value of the production in this industry amounted to approximately 5.1 billion euros. This meant an increase of roughly 100 million euros in comparison to 2016. In the meantime, the total value of Italian leather shoes exports jumped from 8.8 billion euros in 2016 to almost 9.2 billion euros in 2017.

Distribution of leather goods exports in value worldwide in 2018, by country

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Release date

January 2020


China, France, India, Italy, Vietnam

Survey time period


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