World Footwear


Germany with higher foreign trade in 2019

Mar 10, 2020 Germany
Germany with higher foreign trade in 2019
During Gallery Shoes, the Federal Association of the German Footwear and Leather Goods Industry held its Press Conference to give an update about the German footwear industry
The Federal Association of the German Footwear and Leather Goods Industry (HDS/L) has held its Press Conference at the second day of Gallery Shoes. Two updates were given: one regarding the situation of the manufacturing industry and another one regarding foreign trade. Today we will focus on the news regarding the international trade flows of the footwear industry in 2019.


According to GDS/L, in 2019, Germany exported 340.9 million pairs with a total value of 7.6 billion euros. Compared to 2018, this corresponds to a 10.2% increase in the exported number of pairs. The value of exported shoes increased by 9.9% from 6.9 to 7.6 billion euros. The average price of a pair exported from Germany was 22.27 euros, reflecting a 0.3% drop.

Poland was able to reinforce its position as the most important buyer country of footwear from Germany. From 2018 to 2019 footwear exports from Germany to Poland increased significantly: the number of pairs increased by 25.6%, from 47.3 to 59.5 million pairs.

France was the second most important market for German footwear exports, after being the most important destination country in 2016 and 2017. From 2018 to 2019, exports of shoes from Germany to France rose by 10.2%, reaching 40.3 million pairs. The export share of shoes going to France – 11.8% – remained stable in 2019.

Increases were registered in important destination countries like Slovakia +10.3% to 26.3 million pairs; the Netherlands +3.1% to 25.5 million pairs; Italy +6.4% to 23.0 million pairs. Exports to Czech Republic underwent an especially dynamic development: in 2019, Germany exported 19.2 million pairs of shoes, 46.8% more compared to 2018.

The British market is becoming less important for German footwear exports, as the share of exports fell from 6.6% in 2018 to 5.6% in 2019 (20.5 million pairs of shoes compares to only 18.9 million pairs of shoes).

In 2019, the share of exports to the countries of the European Union in the total exports of shoes from Germany was 86.7%. Whereas 263.5 million pairs were still exported to the EU Member States in 2018, a 12.4% increase to 296.3 million pairs was recorded in 2019. The export of textile upper shoes remains at a high level. In 2019, about every third pair of shoes exported from Germany had a textile upper. The exported number of pairs of textile shoes increased by 10.4% from 2018 to 2019, going from 112.5 to 124.2 million pairs. This is seen mainly in textile upper street shoes and sandals. Of these, 57.8 million pairs were exported in 2019, which corresponds to an 11.9% increase compared to 2018. According to the same source, international demand for sandals continues uninterruptedly. As in the previous year, exports have experienced two-digit growth rates (leather upper sandals: +16.5% to 15.6 million pairs; plastic upper sandals: +13.1% to 44.2 million pairs).


3.1% more shoes were imported in 2019 than in 2018. The imported number of pairs rose from 712.1 to 734.4 million pairs. At the same time, the value of the imported shoes increased by 5.5%, from 10.1 to 10.7 billion euros. Consequently, the average price of the shoes imported into Germany increased in 2019 by 2.2% to 14.59 euros. In 2018, the average price of an imported pair of shoes was 14.27 euros.

The relative importance of China as the most important supplier country has decreased from year to year since 2009. Except for 2018, the share of shoes from China on the total quantity of all shoes imported into Germany has steadily dropped in recent years. In 2019, the share of shoes originating in China fell from 47.1% to 46.5%. In 2019, there is a growth in the absolute number of imported shoes from China to Germany. In the number of pairs, a 1.9% increase from 335.1 to 341.4 million pairs could be observed. Increases for other important supplier countries like Vietnam (+6.9% to 112.5 million pairs); Indonesia: +10.4% to 38.4 million pairs; India: +6.4% to 21.3 million pairs.

The import of footwear from Cambodia has strongly increased in 2019 compared to 2018 (+10.7%). Whereas 16.5 million pairs were being imported from Cambodia in 2018, this increased to 18.3 million pairs in 2019.

There are import increases for Italy +1.5% to 32.1 million pairs; Poland +26.2% to 13.9 million pairs; Spain +3.2% to 10.8 million pairs. On the other hand, footwear imports from the Netherlands -10.1% to 21.2 million pairs; Portugal - 8.5% million pairs; France - 0.2% to 10.9 million pairs.

The most important import segment relates to  shoes with a textile upper. As had already happened in 2018, the import share on all shoes imported into Germany reached 40% in 2019. From 2018 to 2019, the imported number of pairs of textile upper shoes increased by 2.7%, from 288.7 to 296.4 million pairs. Import increases were also recorded in leather upper shoes. Here, the number of imported leather upper shoes with rose by 2.9% to 189.8 million pairs of shoes. The import figures also reflect the demand for sandals. From 2018 to 2019, the number of imported leather sandals increased by 7.7%, going from 20.8 to 22.5 million pairs of shoes.

Image credits: beatboy. on Unsplash

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