World Footwear

Trade

Italian footwear industry decelerates

Sep 15, 2023 Italy
Italian footwear industry decelerates
Expectations of a slowdown in the country's footwear industry materialised in the second quarter of 2023. Both the volume of exports and production are falling, as is household spending
The strong rebound of 2021 – after the slump caused by the lockdowns – and the continuation of recovery during 2022 – albeit at an understandably slower pace, as business levels returned to normal – were followed by a marked deceleration, after a promising start to 2023 for most economic variables”, commented Giovanna Ceolini, Chair of Assocalzaturifici.

According to the data compiled by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici, in the first five months of 2023, the Italian footwear industry recorded a growth of 7.4% in turnover, as well as 10.2% increase in the value of its exports, on a comparable basis to the same period of last year. 

However, in the same period, the volume of exports and production declined by 6.8% and 5.7%, respectively. In addition, household spending came to a halt in May and June, after remaining relatively flat during the first half of the year (down by 1.2% in value and by 3.4% in volume).

Exports

The report reveals that from January to May, Italia exported 87.9 million pairs of shoes, 6.4 million fewer pairs than the same period of 2022 (down by 6.8%). The average price per pair, in turn, rose by 18.2% year-over-year to 62.47 euros, explaining the increase of 10.2% in the value generated by exports.

France continues to rank first among the main destinations for Italian footwear (up by 19.6% in value and down by 2.9% in volume), followed by Germany (up by 8.4% in value and down by 15.5% in volume), Spain and the Netherlands, which showed an “interesting growth in both volume and value”, although figures were not specified.

In the UK, the trend remains negative, as, in the first five months of 2023, exports fell by 2.6% in value and by 13.8% in volume, on a comparable basis to the same period of the previous year. However – points out Ceolini – “the rebound in Russia and Ukraine is worth noting”, up by 37% and 56% in value, respectively, “although it should be borne in mind that the comparison period includes months when the outbreak of the war had caused sales to plummet in the two markets involved”.

Assocalzaturifici also highlighted that while in North America exports are holding out in value, the region recorded a fall of more than 20% in pairs. 

On the other hand, exports to China grew by 20.4% in volume and 43.4% in value due to the performance of the large luxury brands. To the Far East, footwear exports rose by 29.4% in value and 7.1% in volume, with positive developments also recorded in the Arab Emirates (up by 37.7% in value) and Turkey (with increases of over 80% in both volume and value, despite the devaluation of the local currency).

Italian Footwear Industry

According to the World Footwear 2023 Yearbook (more information available HERE), Italy is one of the top players in the footwear business. In 2022, the country experienced a 14% increase in turnover, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels, but companies' margins have been impacted by rising raw materials and energy costs. Although Italian footwear imports exceed its exports, the high export prices lead to a substantial trade surplus.


Image Credits: www.bontena.com

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