Leather goods: cautious optimism after H1 2022 with exports and sales at good levels
The entire leather goods industry, after the stop of the pandemic crisis and the difficult macroeconomic situation, thus seems to be moving toward recovery, with an overall positive first half of 2022. An increase in industrial production (+12.4%) and growth in turnover (+15%) clearly emerge, supported by recoveries in the domestic market (+12.2%) and especially in exports (+17.3% in value in the first 5 months, despite a slowdown, in volume terms, in April and May).
The sector thus continues its post-pandemic recovery, but at two speeds: if the international luxury brands are marking time, the small-medium enterprises are for the most part still struggling.
Forecasts for the second half of the year therefore remain marked by caution, both in light of some signs of slowdown (in export quantities, as well as in domestic consumption) that emerged towards the end of the first half of the year, and of the general context, affected by the unsustainable peaks reached by energy costs. For the third quarter, 62 percent of industry professionals surveyed by the Confindustria Moda Study Center expect stability in economic trends compared to the second, with 27 percent expecting a worsening instead. Among the most feared factors, the sample leatherworkers indicated the costs of raw materials and semi-finished products (77 percent), high energy prices (65 percent) and the consequences of the war between Russia and Ukraine (62 percent).
Against this general backdrop of national and international uncertainty, Tuscany's leather goods recovery continues, with a positive balance for the first half of 2022: according to data compiled for Assopellettieri by the Confindustria Moda Study Center, foreign sales of leather goods and tanning products record an 11.9 percent increase in exports over the first half of 2021. The gap from the pre-Covid levels of January-June 2019 is 1.9 percent: this figure confirms the positive trend for the sector, although it is lower than the national average (+17 percent) of 2.8 billion euros in value and makes up 40.6 percent of the Italian total. Tuscany thus confirms itself as Italy's first region for leather goods and tanning exports, ahead of Veneto and Lombardy. Florence and Pisa occupy first and fourth place in the ranking of Italian exporting provinces in the first half of 2022, with shares of 33.5 percent and 4.9 percent of the national total, respectively. Florence (+11.3% on 2021) covers more than a third of national exports with 2.3 billion euros in the first 6 months (slightly less than in January-June 2019 pre-pandemic, -0.4%). Pisa also did well, recording +23% over 2021.
[data and charts courtesy of Centro Studi di Confindustria Moda]