The struggling leather industry managed a little over 33 million dollars in export earnings over the first 10 months of the financial year. It is less than half of officials' aspirations to generate 69 million dollars over the same period, and highlights the troubles faced by the industry over the past few years. Exports from finished leather goods plunged 72pc last year from three years ago. Only eight finished leather manufacturers accounted for 89pc of last year's export earnings, shipping 22.7 million dollars worth of leather products. The earnings are a symptom of an industry in decline – leather accounted for 7.2pc of all exports in the 16 years before 2016. Industry players are grappling with low-quality raw materials, foreign currency shortages, a lack of chemicals necessary for leather processing, and limited skilled manpower. Leather manufacturers have to contend with the imports of leather products as well. The Ethiopian Leather Manufacturers Association had appealed to authorities two years ago to impose higher tariffs on imported leather goods.
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