India: leather industry asks the Government for a lockdown exit plan
One of the key players in the leather industry is now asking the Government to set a plan for the sector once the lockdown is exited next week. The Council for Leather Exports is urging for measures .
Aqeel Ahmed Panaruna, Chairman of the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), underlined that export orders with a total value of 1 billion US dollars have been unilaterally cancelled so far since the 17th of March. The same source is indicating that during the month of March, leather exports declined by 32% due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In April we are expecting only 5% to 10% of exports. In May-June we are expecting only 50% of business, provided we exit from the lockdown. China, Vietnam and Bangladesh are now running their production at full capacities”, Aqeel stated, as reported by several news media in the country. “Lockdown exit plan for exporters after the 3rd of May is important to avoid further cancellation and possible shifting of orders to China, Vietnam and South East Asian countries”, he concluded.
Major export markets for the sector include Italy, Germany, Spain, France, the UK and the US, most of these being countries which were particularly impacted with the Covid-19 spread and which are still dealing with several restrictions to the normal activities (including manufacturing and retail).
The first phase of the Indian lockdown took place from the 25th of March to the 14th of April, while the second phase began on 15th of April and will end on the 3rd of May. Now, CLE, urges the Government to set a lockdown exit plan for the sector after the 3rd of May, as it fears the possibility that orders could be shifted to competitor countries like China and Vietnam.