Brazilian Footwear Exports Increase Over 36% in 2021

Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados) announces that footwear exports registered the shipment of 123.6 million pairs, which generated $900.3 million in 2021. The results are higher both in volume (+32%) and values (+36.8%) compared to 2020. Compared to 2019, the figures are 7.4% lower in foreign exchange but 7.3% higher in volume shipped. For the month of December, 12.88 million pairs were shipped, which generated $94.64 million, increments of 38.8% in volume and 58.8% in revenue compared to the same month of 2020. These results are also higher than those from December 2019, 24.5% increase in volume and 17.2% increase in revenue. 

Haroldo Ferreira, Executive President of Abicalçados, highlights that the indexes point to the consolidation of the recovery of Brazilian footwear manufacturers in the international market. "In 2021,, exports were the main responsible for the recovery of the activity", he says, emphasizing that the exchange rate and the increase in shipments to the United States played a fundamental role in the growth of shipments. “The recovery should continue throughout 2022. In the year, we should grow another 5% over the 2021 base." 

In 2021, the main destination of Brazilian footwear exports was the United States. In the past year, the North American market imported 15 million pairs for $229 million, an increase of 62.7% in volume and 66% in foreign exchange compared to 2020. 

The second largest international destination for Brazilian footwear last year was Argentina. 13.4 million pairs were shipped, which generated $115.2 million, increases both in volume (+73%) and in revenue (+58.7%) compared to 2020. 

The third largest foreign destination was France, to where 7.27 million pairs were shipped for $60.2 million, increases of 3% in volume and 1.7% in revenue, respectively, compared to 2020. 

Last year, the main exporter was Rio Grande do Sul. Being responsible for 45% of the value generated with Brazilian footwear shipments, the Rio Grande do Sul factories exported 32.75 million pairs, which generated $403.8 million, an increase of 48.7% in volume and 38% in revenue when compared to 2020. 

The second largest exporter of footwear in 2021 was Ceará. In the year, 38.17 million pairs left the factories in Ceará, generating $210 million, a 15.8% increase in volume and 25.7% in revenue compared to 2020. 

São Paulo appeared in third place among footwear exporters in 2021. In the year, the São Paulo factories exported 8.3 million pairs for $94.6 million, a 31% increase in volume and 41.7% in revenue compared to the previous year. 

With a more modest growth, Paraíba was the fourth footwear exporter in 2021. In the year, 22.74 million pairs left the Paraíba factories, which generated $57.7 million, increases of 22% and 9.8%, respectively, in relation to 2020.

Like exports, footwear imports ended the year on a high trend. In December, Brazil imported 2.3 million pairs, for which $20 million were paid. The increases are 55.3% in volume and 5.4% in foreign currency in relation to December 2020. In the accumulated 12 months, imports totaled 22.7 million pairs and $287 million, a 7.5% increase in volume and a 4.3% decrease in foreign exchange compared to 2021.

The main origins of imported footwear continue to be Asian countries, especially China, which despite not being the main origin (behind Vietnam and Indonesia) was the country that recorded the largest increase in footwear shipments to Brazil throughout 2021. In December alone, 1.53 million pairs were imported from Chinese factories, 294% more than in the same month of 2020. In the accumulated 12 months, Chinese imports totaled 9.8 million pairs and $36.67 million, highs of 58.4% and 3%, respectively, compared to 2020. "In December, Chinese footwear entered Brazil at an average price of $3, a clear indication of dumping - when prices for exports are different from those practiced in the domestic market, a practice considered unfair by the World Trade Organization (WTO)," comments Ferreira, adding that there is a process for the renewal of the antidumping surcharge against Chinese footwear under analysis in the Chamber of Foreign Trade.

The main origin of footwear imports in 2021 was Vietnam. In the year, 7.74 million pairs were imported from there for $149.5 million, drops of 20.7% in volume and 13.5% in revenue in relation to 2020. The second origin of the year was Indonesia, from where 2.46 million pairs departed to Brazil for $47 million, drops of 14.8% and 0.7%, respectively, compared to 2020.

In parts - uppers, heels, soles, insoles, etc. - imports totaled $24 million, 25% more than in 2020. The main origins were Paraguay, China and Vietnam.