As the COVID-19 panic gets
uglier, Indian leather products and footwear exports industry lost about Rs 1,500 crore worth of orders from the USA and Europe in just two days, an official said on Friday.
Since March 17, there had been unprecedented and adverse developments in the country's USD 5.5 billion leather goods export which was already grappling with disruptions in the supply chain from China due to the outbreak.
"Buyers in the USA and Europe have informed us about cancellations of their orders to the tune of Rs 200 million (Rs 1,5000 crore) in the last two days," Council of Leather Exports (CLE) chairman P R Aqeel Ahmed said.
Buyers have also asked to hold shipments, while containers already shipped are stranded at ports of importing countries and payments are withheld, he said.
The CLE has sent a representation on March 19 to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal highlighting the situation.
Leather goods exporter Rajiv Bhatia of D2 International said there had been problems in input supplies from China that had impacted production.
Bantala, West Bengal's leather hub of Rs 6,000 crore exports, is already reeling under production cut by 20-25 per cent due to input supply chain disruptions from China.
Now, export hurdles will only add to its owes. Leather is an employment intense sector and any adverse impact will create huge job loss.
The CLE has also sought government intervention to protect the sector from this unprecedented concern.