The first eleven months of 2017 signal an increase of approx. 10% for both exports and production

“For the fifth year in a row, the sector’s exports – which total approximately 75% of the turnover – have grown substantially. This growth confirms that Italian companies represent an excellence in the global footwear, leather-goods and tanning machinery sector, remaining strongly competitive on the international stage – comments Gabriella Marchioni Bocca, ASSOMAC and Simac Tanning Tech President. Despite a turbulent market, our companies have positioned themselves at the top of the technological pyramid in terms of both quality and innovation.”

The sector’s exports recorded such good growth between January and November 2017 that they are expected to reach +10% by the year-end compared with the same period in 2016. Moreover, as had only happened in 2016, the growth is no longer patchy but generalised across all three principal sectors.


“This growth illustrates the strength of the system and encourages us to work together for optimum presentation on foreign markets at exhibitions and at the many other opportunities we have to communicate our technology. We were, for example, the first in the world to produce a product catalogue of technology for the footwear-leather sector featuring both the number of companies involved and all the types of machinery and components presented – continues Gabriella Marchioni Bocca. Being an integrated system comprising several excellences, as the export figures continue to demonstrate, makes us better able to respond to the needs of the new production system Industry 4.0. We have the ability to integrate technology systems across the entire sector and therefore propose suitable solutions for a production that seeks to reduce the gap between production and consumption, so that consumer choices arrive straight to the factory.”

In terms of market areas, Asia recorded the highest growth rates, equal to 22.9% in the tanning sector and 34% in the footwear one, confirming itself as the most dynamic business area.

“These data are proof, but we know they hide the major structural changes underway in the production of Asian countries and China in particular – continues Gabriella Marchioni Bocca. With a view to monitoring these phenomena, we and our study office are examining product flows in our sector and those of our clients’ products (leather and footwear) so as not to be taken by surprise by what are today increasingly rapid and substantial changes.”

Europe also becomes the only other market area with increased exports in all three sectors. This is another sign of renewed investments in Western and Eastern Europe; with the automatization of production process, these investments are aimed at reducing the geographical gap between production and the European consumer market. Flexibility and speed are key factors today.

The African market has experienced a slowdown compared with the trends of recent years, save for the tanning sector which has recorded a 9.8% boost in exports. The foreign investments that have, for some years now, sought to make the African continent a new production pole for leather tanning, especially as regards initial work phases, seem therefore to be “holding good”.

“We have seen substantial growth in recent years and aim to become ever more conscious of the part we play in the production sector – ends Gabriella Marchioni Bocca. We have been given a unique opportunity to help the manufacturing industry rethink itself thanks to the technological strength of state-of-the-art solutions that respond to new production demands. If we are to rise to the challenge, we must always be willing to change both our production methods and the way we offer our technology.”

Milan, 20 February 2018