VM Khaleelur Rahman
Chennai, Aug 29: The footwear components sector is well-organised, with very sophisticated, modern and well-developed factories in places like Ambur, Vellore, Ranipet and Chennai among others in Tamil Nadu and other places in the country where good shoe components of international standards are produced as per buyers' requirements. The major importing countries are the UK, the USA, Italy and Germany.
Although exports of footwear components in 1998-99 (April/March) were to the tune of $243.74 million, mere 1.36 per cent higher than the previous year's exports of $240.48 million, there is every possibility of this sector increasing its exports during the current year. Many leading manufacturers who have already entered into big contracts for shoe uppers are engaged in executing them well in time.
According to the data compiled by the Director General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Calcutta, the southern region occupies the first place with a share of 73.59 per cent in the exports offootwear components with $179.3 million in 1998-99 as against $176.67 million in the previous year. The western region exports slightly came down from $14.78 million in 1997-98 to $14.46 million in 1998-99. The eastern region improved from $0.90 million in 1997-98 to $1.46 million in 1998-99 and the northern region suffered a loss of 17.20 per cent and fetched $39.76 million in 1998-99 as against the previous exports of $48.03 million. Others went up from $0.32 million in 1997-98 to $8.68 million in 1998-99.
In the local market, leather goods makers continue to buy tanned goat skins paper, kid, rejection and langda at around Rs 150, Rs 140, Rs 125 and Rs 90 per kg respectively. Goat Stouts Lot/Rej were sold at Rs 17 and Rs 11 per sq ft.
Leather garment manufacturers were slow in purchases of their regular requirements because of insufficient orders. However, small volume of business was reported in garment suede Rs 31.50, all suede Rs 298 and shoe suede at Rs 25.00 per sqft.
Tanned goat skins liningsA/B/C were sold at around Rs 18.50, Rs 16.50 and Rs 14.50 per sqft. The shoe manufacturers bought wetblue cowhides I/II at around Rs 56 per sqft. Others grades III/IV/V/VI/VII are offered at around Rs 45, Rs 34, Rs 28, Rs 19 and Rs 14 per sqft respectively. Exporters offered sheep cabretta ABC at $1.90 and TR at $1.40 per sqft C&F. Goa suede leather for garments was offered at $1.60 per sqft C&F, whereas goat lining leathers were offered at around $0.80 per sq.ft C&F.
(The author is a Chennai-based leather industry analyst)