World Footwear


Brazil: two digits decline in production and exports in 2020

Feb 18, 2021 Brazil
Brazil: two digits decline in production and exports in 2020
According to data released by Abicalçados, the Brazilian footwear sector may have lost 21.8% of its production in 2020, returning to levels registered 16 years ago. Brazilian footwear exports fell by 18.6%, the worst performance since 1983
For Haroldo Ferreira, Executive President of Abicalçados (Brazilian Footwear Industries Association), the activity is gradually recovering, having created more than 30 thousand jobs from July to November (data provided by the Ministry of Labour and Employment): "The opening of retail, which absorbs more than 85% of the sector's sales, was fundamental to the result", he commented. On the other hand, growth was not enough to reverse job losses in the most critical months of the pandemic and restrictions on physical retail. Between March and June last year, more than 60 000 workers lost their jobs in the sector. The data up to November shows that the footwear industry is employing 255 thousand people, 13% less than in the same month of 2019.

Footwear Production

As for footwear production, the accumulated drop until November was 23.4% (654.1 million manufactured pairs), and the year should end with a 21.8% drop, indicating a small improvement in the last month of the year: "We will close the year with the production of 710 million pairs, a similar level to what has been recorded in the mid-2000s", commented Ferreira.

For 2021, the sector is expected to grow 14.1% over last year's "weak" base (to 811 million pairs). “However, even if the estimate is made, we would be 10.3% below the performance of 2019 (908 million pairs), in the pre-pandemic", projected the leader.

Footwear Exports

Accounting for about 15% of sales in the Brazilian footwear sector, exports ended 2020 with a setback of 18.6% in pairs (93.8 million pairs) and 32.3% in dollars (658.3 million US dollars)) compared to 2019, the worst result in almost four decades. The expectation is for a growth of 14.9% over 2021 (108 million pairs). "We will still be 6.5% below 2019", added Ferreira. The main export destinations in 2020 continued to be the United States (9.3 million pairs; 137.8 million US dollars, down by 22.1% and 30.8%, respectively); Argentina (7.7 million pairs; 72.6 million US dollars; down by 23.5% and 30.8%) and France (7.1 million pairs; 59.2 million US dollars; down by 10.7 % and 2.1%).

Image credits:  Lucas van Oort on Unsplash

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