The global leather chemicals market size was valued at USD 8.3 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 15 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period (2022-2030).
Leather chemicals are employed in the tanning, retanning, and dyeing of leather processing. These substances are mainly used to give leather substitutes softness, improve dryness, boost abrasion resistance, and improve their physical characteristics. Tanning and dyeing chemicals, retanning and filling chemicals, dyeing chemicals, and beam house chemicals are the four main categories of leather chemicals. Vegetable tannins, mineral salts, and animal oils are some of the chemicals used in the tanning process to turn raw hide into leather. Acrylic dispersions are used in tanning and filling procedures to increase leather's softness and elasticity. Surfactants, degreasers, sodium formate, and neutralizing systems are the dyeing chemicals used to wet dyes and remove oil or fats from hides or leather.
The expansion of the textile and footwear industries is now driving the growth of the global market for leather chemicals. Additionally, there is a greater demand for aesthetically beautiful leather footwear, which has increased the use of chemicals on leather in processes like dyeing and fatliquoring. Leather finishing chemicals are becoming increasingly significant because of their improved resilience, smoothness, and adhesive properties. Applications include adding color, distributing color evenly, and increasing softness by utilizing dyes, polymers, resins, and systems that have expanded the market for leather chemicals.
The process of chrome tanning involves using chromium, which results in the leather becoming softer and thinner. For instance, vegetable tanning produces durable leather using tannins, which require a longer time. In addition, chrome-tanned leather requires less amount of chemicals such as acids and dyes, which, in turn, makes chrome tanning cheaper and time efficient. Other advantages associated with chrome-tanned leather, such as the color of leather remaining unchanged for a more extended period and leather being tanned within a day with mass manufacturing, significantly contribute to the global market's growth.
The preference for leather footwear among consumers has increased their manufacturing, which in turn is boosting the leather chemicals market's expansion. For instance, according to the BLC Leather Technology Centre survey, global leather footwear production reached 16 billion pairs in 2018 and is predicted to rise constantly in the upcoming period. In addition, developments by leather tanneries have enhanced the production of leather footwear, which requires various leather chemicals for tanning and dyeing. Furthermore, the import of leather footwear has substantially increased in multiple countries, such as the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, and Italy.
The tanning industry involves the utilization of tannins that pose threats to both environment and workers in the industry. The dumping of solid and liquid waste generated after tanning of hiding, which contains chromium and other hazardous chemicals, poses a significant threat to the environment, thereby hampering the market growth. In addition, modernized tanning facilities face substantial issues while disposing of leftover chromium-containing wastewater and other pollutants. For instance, according to a publication by the Scribes Guild Journal, one ton of hiding processed in the tanning industry produces 20 to 80 cubic meters of wastewater that contains 250mg/L of chromium in it and 500 mg/L of sulfide concentration, which are significant pollutants to the environment. Thus, the disposal of leather chemicals hurts the environment, which restrains the growth of the market globally.
Technological advancements of tanyards in developed countries have minimized chromium and sulfide content production in wastewater. Revolutionary tanyards in Eastern Europe utilize industry-proven techniques, majorly direct recycling that uses the same chromium bath for re-tanning and initial tanning processes of hide material. According to the United Nations of Industrial Development Organization report, utilization of the same chromium bath in tanning has reduced the chromium content by 21% in wastewater generated. Moreover, other tanning industries are using reclaiming technique to reduce the chromium content in the wastewater. This technique involves the utilization of sodium hydroxide in acid that undergoes rapid precipitation, which, in turn, helps to recapture 25–30% chromium content present in wastewater. Thus, developing various techniques to minimize the production of chromium content in wastewater is anticipated to offer remunerative opportunities for expanding the global market during the forecast period.
The global leather chemicals market is segmented into chemical type and end user.
Based on chemical type, the global leather chemicals market is fragmented into tanning and dyeing, beam house, and finishing chemicals.
The tanning and dyeing chemicals segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. Different tanning methods are used in the leather industry depending upon the final product required, such as vegetable-tanned leather, synthetic-tanned leather, alum-tanned leather, aldehyde-tanned leather, and chromium-tanned leather. Polymers are used to pack leather, resins are used to enhance the fullness of the leather, syntans are used to impart softness to leather, and inorganic compounds such as aluminum and chromium salts are used to reduce pH and improve dye level. Additionally, aniline-based dyeing chemicals are becoming quite popular on the market because of their capacity to mix with leather skin and produce insoluble compounds.
The demand for beam house chemicals is increasing rapidly, owing to their properties such as high soaking power, improved skin cleaning capability, and a lower amount of sulfides. For instance, Pulcra Chemicals offers beam house auxiliaries such as Coral, Netazym, Pellucid, and Rectil used in delimbing and soaking processes in response to their nitrogen and boric free deliming chemicals, which, in turn, offers delicate grain skin. Soaking chemicals are crucial in beam house operations because they can remove contaminants and thoroughly rehydrate the skin.
Leather finishing chemicals improve properties such as resistance to mold growth and mildew, making leather suitable for manufacturing leather products. The utilization of finishing chemicals depends upon the final product's texture, gloss, and appearance. The prominent growth driver of the market is an increase in the adoption of leather products, which impart a glossy finish and enhance the appearance.
Based on end-user, the global leather chemicals market is segregated into footwear, furniture, automotive, textile and fashion, and others.
The footwear segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period. The rise in population and consumer demand for leather footwear is predicted to enhance the leather chemicals market in the footwear industry. According to a study by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), leather footwear production was 3.2 billion pairs in 2018, and industrialized countries garner a leather footwear share of 65.4%. Moreover, the footwear industry is an essential source of employment in developing countries. Furthermore, improving living standards in developing nations is predicted to increase the number of jobs in the coming years. Additionally, it is anticipated that current industry trends, such as the quick shift in fashion styles and the novel leather footwear options, would present attractive chances for growing the global leather chemicals market.
The rise in trend and consumer preference for aesthetic furniture offers profitable opportunities for the growth of the leather chemicals market. In addition, the increase in preference of the young population toward colorful leather furniture to enhance the look of living spaces is complementing the overall market growth. Moreover, customers are swiftly demanding superior leather furniture products in living areas. In addition, leather products used as dining covers are gaining importance, owing to their capabilities such as easy maintenance and absorbance of food odor. The development of artificial leather is the significant factor driving the demand for leather chemicals in furniture end-user.
The global leather chemicals market is segmented into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period. China is witnessing high demand for leather footwear, owing to the presence of many tanneries. For instance, according to a publication by Council for Leather Exports, China accounted for 28% of the total production of leather footwear. This current market trend has enhanced the demand for leather chemicals for finishing footwear products. Other countries in Asia-Pacific prefer vegetable tanning over chrome tanning for manufacturing leather footwear and other leather products, which, in turn, has supported regional growth. In addition, other Asia-Pacific countries have managed the chrome tanning process to manufacture leather and have advanced equipment to eradicate erosion problems during leather manufacturing.
The Europe leather chemicals market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 7.2%, generating USD 3,070 million during the forecast period. Strong international market connections, increased research and development efforts for producing affordable leather chemicals, and importing raw materials have all contributed to the high demand for leather products in Italy. These factors have also positively impacted the growth of the leather chemicals market in Europe. Market trend such as the utilization of leather in footwear, clothing, gloves, and automobile has seen an upsurge in Europe, which is predicted to offer new opportunities for market expansion during the forecast period. In addition, innovations in tanning industries, especially in Germany, have boosted the region's demand for leather chemicals.
Countries such as Mexico and the U.S. have the highest leather production compared to other countries. The current market trend in North America has enhanced the utilization of leather chemicals, which, in turn, has boosted the market's growth. Additionally, the manufacture of leather shoes is growing in Mexico, which accounts for 0.8% of all leather shoe production globally, per FAO statistics. This factor is expected to present an opportunity for the leather chemicals market growth.
List of key leather chemicals market manufacturers profiled
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|