Turkey's total leather exports rose 22.3% to US$506.7m in the first half of 2007, despite a slowdown in shipments of leather and fur garments.

According to a Leather Export Report by ITKIB (the Istanbul Textile & Apparel Exporters' Association), raw hide and leather exports increased by 23.2%, representing 10% of the total.

Leather and fur garment exports increased by just 5.9% the first half, as compared to the first six months of last year. Turkey's footwear exports increased by 39.2% during the period.

Important markets for Turkish leather exporters are EU countries, former Soviet republics (Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan), OECD Countries (US, Canada, Switzerland), with a market share of 52.6%, 24.7% and 5.4% respectively.

Exports to the Russian Federation increased by 9.2% in the first half of 2007.

Turkey's leather exports to Italy rose by 127.3%, to France by 18.2%, to the UK by 54.7% in January-June 2007. Leather exports to the US fell by 21.2%, and to Germany by 0.5%.

By Altan Dinler.