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15 December 2009

Thai leather industry anticipates rebound in 2010

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The Thai leather industry is very likely to recover next year as exporters manage to shift their markets from the United States to Europe and Japan, according to an industry executive, reported state news agency TNA.

Sakul Sikkasamat, president of the Thai Leather Association, said both new markets have begun to accept Thai leather products although their prices are higher than those of China and Vietnam because the Thai products are of higher quality.

Thailand has annually exported $900 million of leather and leather goods, but exports of the products had shrunk 15 percent this year due to a decline in replacement manufacturing of the US brand products.

Sakul said the industry’s recovery is expected to be clearly witnessed in the second quarter of next year, but he allowed that problems the Thai leather industry is now facing includes a shortage of skilled labour shortage and an inability to create its own brands.

The association has continued to cooperate with the Industrial Promotion Department and other state agencies to develop Thailand’s own brands. It is expected the Thai leather export would improve if Thailand could produce its own branded leather products, he said.


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