Tunisian leather and footwear industries’ exports rose 5.8%, from 520 million Tunisian dinars in the first half of 2012 to 550.1 MTD, during the same period of 2013.
But early signs of declines are in sight, according to the latest “State of the Leather and Footwear Sector” published by the National Center for Leather and Footwear (CNCC).
In these exports (to around 77 countries), the footwear sector accounts for the lion’s share with 307.4 MTD, up 5.9%, followed by shoe uppers with 116.3 MTD (9.8%), leather with 68.9 MTD (-2.1%), hides, skins and furs with 41.6 MTD (2.7%), accessories and components with 10.9 MTD (53.5%) and Leather clothing 5 MTD (-16.7%).
Italy, France and Germany remain the main customers of Tunisia with respective export values of 239.5 MTD, 153.9 MTD and 70.5 MTD, or 84.3% of the sector’s total exports.
This is due, according to the same source, to the number of offshore companies operating in Tunisia and Italy which are mostly French, German or mixed with Tunisian interests.
Romania ranks 4th with a significant jump from 0.4 MTD in 2012 to 14.7 MTD in 2013, i.e. a share of 2.7%.
Romania has imported in particular leather composition with a basis of leather or leather fiber, in slabs, sheets or strip, with a value of 12.6 MD.
Spain came 5th with 10.1 MTD, or 1.8% of the overall exports.
Among the most popular destinations are the United Kingdom, India, Switzerland, Libya and Morocco with values ranging from 2.2 MTD to 4.8 MTD.
As for imports, they were up 3.1% from 356.7 MTD during the first half of 2012 to 367.8 MTD during the same period of 2013.
Tunisia has imported, in particular, imported leather (194.6 MTD), accessories and components (65.1 MTD), shoe uppers (42.9 MTD), footwear (30.8 MTD) and leather goods (30 MTD).
The same source said that Tunisian imports came from 86 countries including Italy, which holds the lion’s share with 167.7 MTD, i.e. 45.6% of the sector’s overall imports.
China overtook Germany (23.5 MTD, 6.4%) and occupied the third place with 24.2 MTD, a share of 6.6%, followed by Spain, which held the 5th place with 13 MTD or 3.5% of the total imports and Slovakia with 8 MD and a share of 2.2%.
According to the same publication, India, Portugal, Vietnam and the Netherlands are the preferred sources for leather and footwear operators.
The coverage of imports by exports reached approximately 149.6% during the first six months in 2013.