World Footwear

Trade

Weak third quarter for Italian footwear trade

Jan 5, 2024 Italy
Weak third quarter for Italian footwear trade
After a positive start to 2023, Italian footwear stumbled in the third quarter of the year, with exports down by 7.2% in value and 12.3% in volume, as compared to the same period of 2022
According to the snapshot provided by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici, in the first nine months of the year, the Italian footwear sector recorded an increase in turnover and exports in value terms of 3% and 3.2%, respectively, on a comparable basis to the same period of last year. However, sales volume decreased in this period both abroad (by 8.7% year-over-year) and at home (by 3.1% year-over-year), with the ISTAT index of industrial production down by 7.4%.

The business association stressed that the “setback in the third quarter weighed heavily on results”, with exports down by 7.2% in value and 12.3% in volume and household spending in Italy down by 1.5%. Giovanna Ceolini, Chair of Assocalzaturifici, said “after a very positive start, 2023 closed with a downward slide, partly due to major increases in costs affecting companies’ profit margins. Once the post-Covid rebound was over, the pace of sales slowed markedly, beginning as early as the Spring, and becoming even more obvious in the third quarter of the year”.

She also emphasised that this trend “was not facilitated by the uncertainty of the difficult international geopolitical scenario, when, in addition to the war between Russia and Ukraine, events in the Middle East came to a head, with a real risk of the conflict spreading, in addition to the weakness of the economy in several important areas of the world”.


Destination Markets

The data shows that EU markets performed better overall between January and September, with a growth of 8.5% in value and a decline of 6.1% in volume, as compared to the same months of the previous year; at the same time, exports to non-EU destinations registered a decline in volume of 13.4% and 1.2% in value year-over-year.

Italian footwear exports to France resisted in the first nine months of the year, increasing by 1% in volume and 17.1% in value, as compared to a similar period of 2022. On the other hand, sales to Switzerland, traditionally a logistics hub for fashion multinationals, contracted by 32.4% in volume and 22.5% in value year-over-year.

A highlight to the decrease in sales to the US. In the first nine months, exports to this country dropped by 21.7% in volume and by 7.4%, as compared to the same period of the prior year, with sales significantly falling by 20% in the third quarter.

On a brighter note, Italian footwear continued to perform well in China. Exports to the Asian country increased by 17.2% in volume and 12.2% in value from January to September, on a comparable basis to the same period of 2022, despite a downturn in value in the third quarter. The average price per pair in this region, above 200 euros, remains the highest.

In addition, sales to Russia and Ukraine increased by 40% and 88% in value terms to the end of September, although these figures remain below pre-war levels.


Image Credits: Niccolò Chiamori on Unsplash

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