World Footwear


Indian exports reach 5.69 billion US dollars

Jul 30, 2019 India
Indian exports reach 5.69 billion US dollars
India’s export of leather and leather products for the last financial year reached 5 691.00 million US dollars, compared to 5 740.97 million US dollars in the previous year. This represents a small decline of 0.87%
Despite the overall stable performance of the leather industry, when the different segments are analysed contrasting realities are found. Exports of finished leather declined by 17.4% in the period, going from 874.24 million US dollars to 721.73 million US dollars. Exports of footwear components (-4.8%) and leather garments (-9.7%) also declined, but at lowest rhythm.

Exports of leather goods, which already represent 25% of the exporting revenue of the industry, increased by 5% reaching 1 434.24 million US dollars.

Leather footwear
exports totalled 2 195.47 million US dollars in the fiscal year, in line with the previous year (2 193.86 million US dollars). In the same period exports of non-leather footwear grew by an impressive 32.2%, reaching 392.63 million US dollars

The major markets for Indian Leather & Leather Products are the US with a share of 15.70%, Germany 11.58%, UK 10.50%, Italy 6.48%, France 5.68%, Spain 4.54%, UAE 3.97%, Netherlands 3.42%, Hong Kong 3.34%, China 2.60%, Poland 2.02%, and Belgium 2.00%. These 12 countries together account for nearly 71.84% of India’s total leather, leather products and footwear export. The European Union accounts for 54% of India’s total export of leather and leather products.

The information comes from the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) using data from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S).

The strengths of the industry

According to the CLE, the leather industry is bestowed with an affluence of raw materials as India is endowed with 20% of world cattle & buffalo and 11% of world goat & sheep population. Added to this are the strengths of skilled manpower at competitive wage levels, innovative technology and institutional support for R&D, HRD and product development, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and the dedicated support of the allied industries.

The footwear industry in India

According to the 2018 World Footwear Yearbook in 2017 India was the second largest producer of footwear, with Annual Production of 2.41 billion pairs and a share of 10.2% in the worldwide production, just behind China (holding a share of 57.5%).

Despite being such a strong producer, India is only the 9th largest exporter (share of 1.3%), given the fact that much production stays in the country and feeds the immense domestic market (India has an estimated population of roughly 1.4 billion people). In fact, according to the same source, in 2017, India overtook the US as the second largest consumer of footwear: a milestone in Asia’s ascent to prominence in the world market, reflecting strong demographic and economic trends (READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE).


The Government of India had identified the Leather Sector as a Focus Sector under its Make in India programme keeping in view of its "immense potential for growth and employment generation". Accordingly, the Government is also implementing various Special Focus Initiatives under the Foreign Trade Policy for the growth of leather sector. With the implementation of various industrial developmental programmes as well as export promotional activities; and keeping in view the past performance, and industry’s inherent strengths of skilled manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and dedicated support of the allied industries, the Indian leather industry aims to augment the production, thereby enhance export, and resultantly create additional employment opportunities.

Fiscal year in India runs from April to March.

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