Indian leather workers resume exports
Companies have reported receiving new enquiries for their products.
Image © BBK Leathers
Leathergoods have been exported to Europe, South America and the USA from the Indian city of Calcutta for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown affected trade. The tanneries and leather manufacturing units in the eastern suburb of Bantala were recently allowed to reopen, and resumed work with fewer staff than normal. While much of the work involved finishing and shipping orders that had been put on hold when the pandemic struck, many of these companies have reported receiving new enquiries for their products.
One manufacturer recently shipped a variety of bags, wallets and additional leather products to Sweden, Switzerland and other European nations. These were pending orders which could not be sent because of the lockdown. Several other consignments are being completed, and samples are also being sent out for the forthcoming seasons. This particular company is now working with 150 members of staff – almost half of its total workforce.
According to another exporter, buyers in Europe and the USA had neither taken calls nor replied to emails regarding pending orders for a number of months. However, this is now changing, with conversations taking place regarding their requirements. In addition to leather bags and wallets, industrial gloves appear to be in demand. While prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, 20 to 30 per cent of exports would typically consist of industrial gloves, this figure now stands at almost 50 per cent. Most consignments are currently being sent by sea.
This article was originally published on page 2 of the June 2020 issue of SATRA Bulletin.