World Footwear


Spanish footwear industry with record exports

May 9, 2014 Spain
Spanish footwear industry with record exports
In 2013, Spanish footwear exports reached a record value of 2 286 million euros, a 9.1% growth from 2012. Exported quantities decreased 0.9% and now reach 139 million pairs, which resulted in an average price of 16.34 euros
Jose Sanchís Busquier, Presidente of FICE (Fereración de Industrias del Calzado Espñol – Spanish Footwear Association), considers the overall balance for 2013 very positive. “We have managed to maintain the production level of 92 million pairs, similar to 2012. We have also improved the level of employment in our sector, with an increase of almost 5%. These two factors have meant that there has been no close-down of footwear companies. Regarding commercial transactions, the most important has been the slight recovery in consumption in Spain which has affected our brands very positively. In the export field, the “true engine” of our industry, I have to emphasize my satisfaction that in 2013 we have fulfilled our most priority objective, continuing to improve our position in the 150 countries in which the Spanish footwear has permanently established.” 

Mr. Busquier highlighted the importance of the strategies implemented in the industry to explain its excellent achievements. “The success of the Spanish footwear in international markets is not due to a temporary factor but several strategies implemented by the Federation for over 15 years and have been followed by most of the companies in our sector. These strategies supported very significantly by INESCOP (Instituto Tecnológico del Calzado Y Conexas) were mainly addressing innovation throughout the value of chain in manufacturing the product, design, quality, knowledge of international fashion trends and exports as the basis of sector development”, explained Mr. Busquier.

Almost two thirds of the total Spanish footwear exports have the European Union countries as destination (74%). In fact, top 5 buyers of footwear from Spain accounted for 57% of total sales abroad and are all European Union countries: France (21%), Italy (10%), Germany (9%), Portugal (9%) and United Kingdom (8%). The United States follow as the next destination market, with a 6% share, and continue to be the main market outside the European Union.

China deserves a special note as a destination market by its potential and recent trends: rising by 45% in volume and 17% in value, this Asian country has one of the highest prices of footwear sold by Spain. Also, Russia, with 18.2% growth in volume and 23.9% increase in value is a market standing out. Despite the increases in volume registered in the US and China, it must be noted that these two countries still present the highest average prices from the top 20 buyers, 39.54 euros and 38.74 euros, respectively.

FICE attributed the industry’s good performance to a diversification of markets, allied to a strong international demand for products made in Europe. The 10.1% increase in the average export price to 16.34 euros played an important role.

Looking into the exports by type of product, 62% are leather shoes, growing its share from 2012 position both in quantities and value. This is accompanied by a decrease of imports of this type of footwear (-5.0% in volume and -4.6% in value).

On the imports side an increase of 1.7% in quantities was allied to a decrease of 1.7% on its value, which generated a decrease of 3.3% of the average price paid by Spanish importers. Main suppliers are: China (32%), Vietnam (10%), France (10%), Italy (8%), Belgium (7%) and Portugal (7%), representing 75% of total imports. 

The Spanish Footwear Association highlights innovation as the key element to guarantee Spanish products continue to be competitive in the future. “The challenges and priorities facing the sector in the coming years are to remain competitive in the segments of medium-high and high consumption through technological innovation as the basis for improving globally product quality and enhance even more strongly the ‘made in Spain’ brand in international markets”, added Mr. Busquier.

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