World Footwear


Brazil: footwear exports on the rise

Jul 5, 2022 Brazil
Brazil: footwear exports on the rise
In the first five months of the year, Brazilian footwear exports increased in both volume and value. The footwear industry is benefiting from US demand for suppliers outside Asia
The data released by the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados) shows that from January to May were shipped 64.24 million pairs of shoes, generating 538.72 million US dollars. These figures reflect an increase of 30.3% in volume and 66.5% in value, on a comparable basis to the same period of 2021. In May, footwear exports grew by 19.8% in volume (10.5 million pairs of shoes) and by 59.5% in value (104 million US dollars), as compared to the same month of last year.

The Executive President of Abicalçados, Haroldo Ferreira, highlighted that the performance on the US market is being decisive to this outcome. He added that footwear exports in volume are almost 80% higher than the ones recorded in the same period of 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first five months of the year, 10 million pairs of shoes, worth 146.3 million euros, were shipped to the US, up by 87.2% in volume and by 108.6% in value, on a comparable basis to the same period of 2021.

Looking further into the results, Ferreira explained that, on one hand, the trade war between the US and China had a clear impact on the shoes imported by American buyers; on the other and, the rising costs of freights from Asia "has led buyers to seek geographically closer suppliers", so "as the largest industry outside Asia, we are deemed a relevant player", he concluded. In addition, exports to South America, 30% above pre-pandemic levels, have also played a significant role.

Argentina was the second main destination market for Brazilian footwear in the first five months of 2022, having purchased 6.82 million pairs of shoes for 74.62 million US dollars, which indicates an increase of 64% in volume and 93.7% in value, as compared to similar period of the prior year. Next, came France, which bought 4.0 million pairs (up by 31%), worth 29.4 million US dollars (up by 25.2%).

Brazilian Footwear Industry

Brazil has one of the largest footwear industries in the world, mainly focused on the domestic market. Yet, 2020 was an especially difficult year for the sector due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: Abicalçados noted that national production of footwear dropped to levels of 16 years ago, and official statistics show that exports reached their lowest figure of the decade. Nonetheless, the World Footwear 2021 Yearbook (more information available HERE) shows that Brazil still ranked fifth among the top 10 footwear producers and the top 10 footwear consumers.

Image Credits: F Cary Snyder on Unsplash

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