Finished leather goods and footwear from China are flooding Indian markets. Footwear is a major import item from China into India, accounting for about 68 per cent of total footwear imports into the country. Value-added products such as leather products and footwear constitute 91 per cent of imports of leather, leather products and footwear from China.
Even though India is a net exporter of raw hides and skins to China, it is a net importer of footwear and other articles of leather such as handbags, saddlery and harnesses from its neighbor. In the April to January period of 2018-19, India’s import of footwear from China was worth $353.33 million and that of leather articles was $321.6 million. However, India’s export of these products to China was $34.1 million and $21.3 million, even though the skins and hides to produce leather goods such as saddlery and handbags are exported mostly from India. As far as the leather and footwear sector is concerned, the balance of trade now is in favor of China. The leather industry in India wants the import duty on Chinese footwear to be increased from 25 per cent to 35 per cent because of a negative trade balance on footwear.