If you’re interested in getting to know the 8 countries that produce the most leather in the world, look no further. This list should take care of that. Leather production industry is among the most important industries in the world. We simply depend on leather if nothing else, then for our footwear which is often a direct product of the leather industry. Of course, leather has much more widespread use in our daily lives than that, but our shoes or boots are the simplest and most common examples. And, if you like to read about top producers of various products, including agricultural, be sure not to skip our article on countries that produce the most kiwi fruit in the world!
In order to compile this list of 8 countries that produce the most leather in the world, we have resorted to this World Statistical Compendium for raw hides and skins, leather and leather footwear 1993-2012. Note that leather production statistics start from page 96. Although any report from 2012 should be considered somewhat outdated, this report is the most complete and up-to-date collection of data currently available to everyone. For our list, we have only considered 2010 preliminary data and 2011 estimates. In other words, we have calculated the average figure for the two years expressed in millions of square feet. Furthermore, we have taken both heavy and light leather from bovine animals, and light leather from sheep and goats into account.
Considering 2010 and 2011, total US leather production came to 669.1 million square feet. 61.7 million square feet went on light leather from sheep and goats, while 21.3 million went on heavy leather from bovine animals. It’s clear that US leather industry emphasizes on light leather from bovine animals since 586.2 million square feet of US leather was exactly of this type.
Like the US leather industry, Argentinian too emphasizes on light leather from bovine animals. They have produced 651.4 million square feet of this type of leather, while only producing 35.1 million square feet of light leather from sheep and goats. Heavy leather production from bovine animals is even less widespread in Argentina as it only amounts to 28.6 million square feet. Total Argentinian leather production amounted to 715.1 million square feet.
6. South Korea
South Korea follows the similar pattern, albeit with even larger discrepancies. Koreans only produce 10.6 and 19.9 million square feet of heavy bovine and light sheep and goats leather respectively. Of their entire leather production which amounts to 1,083.1 million square feet, 1,052.5 million falls off to light leather from bovine animals.
The fifth spot on this list of 8 countries that produce the most leather in the world belongs to India, but judging by current trends India might soon surpass the country from spot number 4 (if it hadn’t already). Indian leather industry produces a total of 1,397.5 million square feet of leather – 52.4 million of which fall off to heavy bovine leather. Unlike previous countries, however, India produces roughly equal amounts of bovine, and sheep and goats light leather. 674,25 million and 670.85 million square feet respectively.
Russian leather production has been declining ever since the early nineties. Russians are still a powerhouse in the leather industry, however, since they produce 1,460.3 million square feet of leather a year. Needless to say, most of it (1,304 million) goes on light leather from bovine animals. On the other hand, light leather from sheep and goats production only amounts to 118 million square feet, and heavy bovine leather production comes to 38.3 million square feet.
Italy is still the undisputed European leader when it comes to leather production. Italians produce 1,573.5 million square feet of leather a year and 1,119.3 million of that sum goes on light leather from bovine animals. They also produce 401.5 million square feet of light leather from sheep and goats, and 52.8 million of heavy leather from bovine animals.
Brazil holds a high second spot in the world by leather production. Their entire industry produces 1,832.7 million square feet of leather and almost everything falls off to light leather from bovine animals – 1,721.5 million square feet. Brazil only produces 44.1 million square feet of heavy bovine leather and 67.1 million square feet of light sheep and goats leather, but even that’s more than what most other countries in the world make.
Surprise, surprise! Number one spot on this list of 8 countries that produce the most leather in the world goes to China. Chinese leather industry creates a turnaround of no less than 3,913.1 million square feet of leather – double the amount of Brazilian leather industry. Most of that goes on light bovine leather which is being produced in quantities of 2,364.7 million square feet a year. However, light sheep and goats leather production in China isn’t to be trifled with as well. After all, they produce 1,347.3 million square feet of this type of leather. Finally, China also produces 201.2 million square feet of heavy bovine leather – most in the world.