GVR Report cover Leather Chemicals Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Leather Chemicals Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Biocides, Surfactants, Chromium Sulfate, Polyurethane Resins, Sodium Bicarbonate), By Process, By End Use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Published Date: Aug, 2020
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2019
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-816-9
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 106

Report Overview

The global leather chemicals market size was valued at USD 7.55 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% from 2020 to 2027. Increasing leather consumption across the footwear, apparel, and automotive industries is one of the major factors boosting the market growth. The chemicals are used at different stages of leather production and can be categorized as pre-tanning, tanning, and finishing chemicals. The most widely used chemicals include chromium sulfates, PU resins, surfactants, and biocides. These chemicals are anticipated to witness an upsurge in the demand for improving the texture, color, and aesthetic value of leather. However, several negative aspects associated with the use of these chemicals, such as high water consumption, toxicity, and emission of wastes such as heavy metals and phthalates, may pose a serious threat to the environment.

U.S. leather chemicals market size

In addition, chromium is considered to be carcinogenic in nature and may cause lung irritation when inhaled, thus proving to be hazardous to human life. The above-mentioned factors are expected to restrain market growth. The market is dominated by a relatively small number of companies with large production capacities. These players are looking towards adopting expansion strategies on account of increasing market penetration of leather chemicals in the production of footwear, automotive upholstery, home furnishing, and other accessory goods. This is expected to result in the steady growth of market players over the forecast period. Therefore, integration is likely to be a popular expansion strategy adopted by various companies operating in the market.

Product Insights

The others segment held the largest share of 46.5% in 2019 and is expected to maintain its lead in the forthcoming years. Polyurethane resins emerged as the second-largest product segment in 2019 and are expected to witness the fastest growth in the forecast period. Polyurethane resins are used as a raw material for manufacturing an extensive range of finishing products, such as lacquers and dry coatings. They are used for developing organic solvent-free finish formulations, binders, basecoat, and topcoat. Apart from this, PU resins are used to manufacture synthetic leather owing to their high tensile strength, excellent elasticity, and abrasion and solvent resistance. Demand for PU resins is anticipated to ascend as PU-based leather is considered more environment-friendly in comparison with vinyl-based leathers. However, PU-based leather is more expensive than the two owing to the extensive manufacturing process involved.

Chromium sulfate is used on a large scale for the dyeing process in the leather industry. A high proportion of produced leather, ranging from 80% to 90%, is tanned using chromium salts. The primary function of such tanning agents is to stabilize the leather through the crosslinking of collagen fibers. Trivalent chromium agents are extensively utilized in tanning and retanning processes. However, under certain circumstances, the oxidation of trivalent chromium to hexavalent chromium is expected to remain a key issue for manufacturers.

Sodium bicarbonate is mostly used in tanyard operations as dyeing auxiliaries, cleaner, buffer, pretreating agent, and neutralizer. Its primary function is to raise the pH level during the neutralization process. It also plays a vital role as an acid neutralizer after the chromium tanning process. Skin and hides are pickled in order to prepare them for the tanning process. In the vegetable tanning process, skin and hides are first de-pickled using sodium bicarbonate to maintain the pH levels.

Process Insights

Tanning and dyeing chemicals accounted for the largest revenue share of 48.06% in 2019 and are anticipated to maintain their lead over the forecast period. The most commonly used chemicals in the tanning process include trivalent chromium and vegetable tannins. As dyeing and tanyard operations are the major stages in the leather making process, it consumes a higher amount of chemicals for processes ranging from tanning to post tanning operations. The aforementioned factors are expected to drive the demand for tanning and dyeing chemicals over the forecast period

The beamhouse process emerged as the second-largest segment in 2019. The beamhouse process is the foremost and primary step in the tanning process and consumes a significant amount of leather chemicals for applications ranging from preparation of hides and skins to preservation. The beamhouse processing further includes hide trimming, soaking, fleshing, and unhairing operations. The chemicals used in such processes include biocides, surfactants, degreasers, lime, sodium sulfide, formic acid, sulfuric acid, and enzymes.

End-use Insights

Footwear emerged as the largest end-use segment and accounted for a share of nearly 50.0% in 2019. Leather is one of the widely used components in footwear manufacturing owing to which consumption of the product is high in the footwear industry. The footwear sector uses finishing chemicals on a large scale to improve the aesthetic view of the product. Increasing demand for luxury footwear is likely to propel the demand for finishing chemicals in the extended run.

Global leather chemicals market share

Leather goods consist of leather wallets, belts, handbags, and other leather accessories. The amount of leather required for producing such products is moderate compared to the other end-use segments. As a result, production of the product demand in the leather goods segment is expected to grow at a moderate rate. Tanning and dyeing chemicals, followed by finishing chemicals, are consumed on a large scale in leather goods. Rising inclination of consumers toward product aesthetics, along with increasing demand for luxury leather products, is projected to drive the demand for leather chemicals in leather goods over the forecast period.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific accounted for the largest revenue share of 52.0% in 2019. Uninterrupted supply of raw materials and low-cost labor are some of the major factors contributing to the market growth in this region. Increasing disposable income of consumers in developing countries, such as China and India, along with augmented demand for premium products, has fuelled the leather demand in several end-use industries, thereby driving the product consumption in the above-mentioned countries. Moreover, manufacturers such as Lanxess AG and Seaton Chemicals Ltd. have a well-established footprint in the region, and thus are able to adequately resolve any demand-supply gap issues.

Europe is expected to witness significant growth over the years to come as it dominates the footwear, automobile, and consumer appliances industries. The governments in the region are focusing on bio-based and low-cost products with high durability. As a result, demand for sustainably sourced as well as bio-based leather chemicals is expected to propel in the region. The European tanning industry is highly dependent on raw materials and export. Rising consumption of leather chemicals in manufacturing for footwear, furniture, automotive interior, and apparel is expected to fuel the market growth over the coming years.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is highly fragmented and competitive with the presence of well-established and long-term players occupying a major market share. Industry participants are adopting partnership strategies with raw material suppliers to increase capacity as well as improve cost efficiency in the production process. Moreover, the players are gradually turning towards developing green chemicals owing to consumer awareness regarding environmental hazards created by the use of these chemicals. Some of the prominent players in the leather chemicals market include:

  • Bayer AG

  • Lanxess AG

  • Elmentis Plc

  • Stahl International B.V.

  • Texapel

  • Chemtan Company, Inc.

  • Lawrence Industries Limited

  • Zschimmer & Schwarz GmbH & Co KG Chemische Fabriken

Leather Chemicals Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 8.06 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 13.2 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 7.3% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Market representation

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage      

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

Segments Covered

Product, process, end-use, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; CSA; Middle East & Africa

Country Scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; France; Spain; Italy; Turkey; China; India; Japan; Brazil; Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

Bayer AG; Lanxess AG; Stahl International B.V.; Elmentis plc; Texapel; Chemtan Company, Inc.; Lawrence Industries Limited

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global leather chemicals market report on the basis of product, process, end-use, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Biocides

    • Surfactants

    • Chromium Sulfate

    • Polyurethane Resins

    • Sodium Bicarbonate

    • Others

  • Process Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Tanning & Dyeing

    • Beamhouse

      • Biocides

      • Surfactant

      • Sodium Sulfide

      • Formic Acid

      • Others

    • Finishing

  • End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Footwear

    • Upholstery

    • Garments

    • Leather Goods

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Italy

      • Spain

      • France

      • Turkey

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

Frequently Asked Questions About This Report

gvr icn


gvr icn

This FREE sample includes market data points, ranging from trend analyses to market estimates & forecasts. See for yourself...

gvr icn


We can customize every report - free of charge - including purchasing stand-alone sections or country-level reports, as well as offer affordable discounts for start-ups & universities.

Contact us now to get our best pricing.

BBB icon D&B icon

We are GDPR and CCPA compliant! Your transaction & personal information is safe and secure.