I am predicting that we will see significant and sudden price increases in most cowhide grain and split leather work gloves during 2014. This comes on the heels of the 5 – 10% annual increases over the last three years. Some of our leather work glove suppliers are anticipating another 10% hike in 2014 but I am predicting that the increases will be around 15% and on some models as much as 30%.
Global conditions have resulted in shortages of most cowhides and multiple influences are contributing to the price increases. Examples are:
- China’s recent environmental policies resulting in closure of over 100 leather tanneries that do not use eco-friendly metal-free tanning processes.
- Reduced number of cowhides due to higher feed prices and global droughts.
- Cost of labor increases in China.
- Increased leather demand from auto, clothing, and shoe industries.
Some manufacturers have sourced cheaper gloves in India and Pakistan but the quality of the leather and the craftsmanship is not currently comparable to that in China. Recently, due to customer complaints, we have had to replace some of those inferior leather glove lots that were sent to us without our knowledge and were unfortunately shipped our larger leather glove industrial users. Subsequently, these inferior gloves have been returned to the manufacturer.
As an option to the cowhide leather price increases, I encourage you to consider other alternatives with minimal price challenges such as pigskin, synthetic leathers, and grain goatskin or sheepskin. Otherwise, place your orders now if you want some immediate price protection.
Link: Leather Work Gloves