World Footwear


Turkey’s international footwear trade with two digits growth

Jul 21, 2014 Turkey
Turkey’s international footwear trade with two digits growth
In 2013 Turkish footwear exports increased 31.6% in volume and 19.1% in value, reaching now 166 million pairs valued at 607 million USD. Imports were up both in volume and value, growing 13.2% and 15.9%, respectively

The Russian and Iraqi markets concentrate more than one third of total Turkish footwear exports, with a share of 18% and 17% respectively. Saudi Arabia (7%), Ukraine (5%), Germany and United Kingdom follow (both with a 4% quota). Apart from Saudi Arabia, all these markets registered at least two digit's growth rates, which reveals an important dynamic of the Turkish exports.

Quite relevant is the Ukrainian market with a 116% growth in volume and 202% in value, which now positions itself as the 4th main destination of Turkish footwear exports. According to the Footwear Industrialists Association in Turkey (TASD): “Ukraine is one of the most important markets for the Turkish Footwear Industry. Due to the problems in the region our exportation to Ukraine has fell dramatically. We do not expect a quick recovery in the region and therefore our industry expectation is not positive in the short term. Still, Ukraine is one of the most important markets for our exports and still keeps its position in the top 10 list of Turkey’s exportation”.

However, is not just Ukraine that represents a worry, as the concentration of Turkish exports to countries ruled by political and social instability, results in a huge uncertainty about the developments in those regions. According to TASD, Turkish companies are trying to diversify away from such markets: “It is true that our exportation is highly concentrated in the two markets (Russian Federation and Iraq). Before problems have occurred in the region our exporters already started to search for new markets. And therefore our exportation started to increase to EU countries such as Germany, England and Italy. Our companies are in fever of searching new markets especially in Far-East and America.”

Analysing the two main destination markets of Turkish footwear, there is an interesting fact about the prices charged. 2.16 USD is the average price paid by Iraqi costumers and 18.34 USD by Russian ones, reflecting Turkey’s production of different product segments for different markets. Quoting TASD: “For the Russian market we export leather fashion shoes whereas on the other hand we export slippers and sandals to Iraq and Arabic countries.”

On the imports side, 2013 was characterized by a strong growth with increases of 13.2% in volume and 15.9% in value, reaching 58 million pairs worthing 935 million USD. Main suppliers of foreign footwear are China (53%), Vietnam (16%), Italy (10%), Indonesia (10%) and India (2%).

According to TASD, their “strategy is to increase the production and exportation in Turkey instead of importation. Most of our projects are based on decreasing the importation of low quality and cheap shoes coming from Asian countries. Turkish producers have the capability of producing different types of shoes with so many different quality ranges. We believe that there is no shoe that cannot be produced in Turkey. Footwear production is a historical industry in Turkey which has a background of 1200 years. We have enough production culture and infrastructure to compete with China also. On the other hand we have really very well developed and organized companies producing high quality fashion leather shoes for the European Markets."

When reflecting about the next few years, the Turkish footwear industry belives taht in order "to increase our exportation and to gain the desired shares from the overall world footwear trading figures we have to invest more on Innovation, R&D and Design. We have to convert our strong local brands into Worldwide well-known brands in time. We are working on serious projects to make “Made in TURKEY” as a brand in the footwear industry. To do so we obviously need to integrate innovation and design features to our companies more.”

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Related Organizations

  • TASD - Footwear Industrialists Association of Turkey

    TASD - Footwear Industrialists Association of Turkey

  • AYSAD - Association of Turkish Footwear Components Manufacturers

    AYSAD - Association of Turkish Footwear Components Manufacturers

  • Turkish Footwear Industry Foundation of Research, Development and Education

    Turkish Footwear Industry Foundation of Research, Development and Education

  • TDSD - Turkish Leather Industrialists Association

    TDSD - Turkish Leather Industrialists Association