The ban on sale of cattle for slaughter, which has cast a shadow on the leather industry and created concern among importers, could pave the way for American cattle hide to India in the long run, Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners Association president Ramesh Juneja said. “A few days back American consulate officials in Kolkata called me up and inquired about the situation on the ban,” he told PTI.
If buffaloes are not excluded from the ban list, Indian exporters will be bound to import hide to meet their commitments. Buffalo hides account for in excess of 50 per cent of the leather demand, he said.
“India has never imported hides so far and has met the demand from domestic supplies. USA produces a lot of cattle hide but due to high labour cost they don’t produce leather goods,” he said.
However, the hide, skin and leather industry in the USA is growing in recent times and according to reports in 2016, the country has exportered cattle hide and semi-proceed leather products worth USD 2 billion.
“The hides and skins industry is a major success story for US agriculture and exports. The industry has positioned itself well to capitalize on a highly dynamic, integrated global leather marketplace,” president of the US Hide, Skin and Leather Association Stephen Sothmann was quoted in a report.
China is the largest importer of cattle hide from the USA. Other large destinations include Korea, Mexico, Vietnam and the European Union.
Juneja said that West Bengal has a hide stock which will last for two months and major leather fashion brands were concerened.