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Footwear exports decreased by 32.7% until August

Affected by instabilities in the international market, especially in the United States, footwear exports registered decreases of 32.7% in revenues and 25.2% in volume between January and August in relation to the same period last year. In total, 56.4 million pairs were shipped. They generated USD 437.15 million. Considering August alone, 7.27 million pairs were exported for USD 57.9 million, decreases of 26.7% in volume and 30% in revenues in relation to the same month of 2019.

Even though the decrease in shipments is expected to decline in the last months of 2020, the executive president of the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados), Haroldo Ferreira, highlights that the year will likely end with a setback of around 27% in relation to 2019. "The new coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the international market. In addition to losing space in important markets, such as the United States, the Chinese industry recovered more quickly, inflating international competition,” the leader explains.

According to the executive, not even the valued dollar has been enough to boost shipments of shoes. "The world is still facing many restrictions, especially for in-person meetings. The Italian Micam Milano, the largest global fair of the sector, is an example. Only nine Brazilian brands – all of which have local representatives – will attend the event due to travel restrictions for Brazilians in Italy. Last year, 76 brands participated in the fair," he adds.

Destinations
Between January and August, the main destination of shoes exported by Brazil was the United States. During the period, U.S. companies imported 5.88 million pairs, generating USD 95.26 million, decreases both in volume (-26.8%) and in revenues (-30.8%) in relation to the corresponding period last year.

The second destination during the eight months was Argentina, where 4.2 million pairs were shipped to, generating USD 43.33 million, decreases of 27.7% and 33.8%, respectively, compared to 2019.

The third destination of the year, in turn, was France. In the eight months, the French imported 4.28 million pairs, which generated USD 38.28 million, decreases both in volume (-13.2%) and in revenues (-3.5%) in relation to the same period last year.

States
The greatest footwear exporter during the period was still Rio Grande do Sul, which accounts for 45% of the total dollars generated. In the eight months, companies in the state shipped 13.7 million pairs, generating USD 196.5 million, decreases both in volume (-31.7%) and in revenues (-34.7%) in relation to the same period of 2019.

The second exporter during the period was the state of Ceará, where 18.25 million pairs were shipped to for USD 108.21 million, decreases of 30.3% and 32.7%, respectively, compared to last year.

The third exporter during the eight months was São Paulo, which exported 4.25 million pairs that generated USD 44.68 million, decreases both in volume (-15.2%) and in revenues (-34.2%) compared to 2019. 

With a smaller decrease, Paraíba ranked fourth among Brazilian footwear exporters. During the period, factories in the state shipped 11.61 million pairs for USD 36.66 million, decreases of 8.5% and 16.7%, respectively, in relation to the corresponding period last year. 

Imports
Footwear imports decreased less than exports, worsening the deficit of the Brazilian balance of trade for the sector by 31.7% – or USD 16 million – in August alone. 

In the eight months, 16 million pairs of shoes came into Brazil for USD 213 million, decreases of 18.3% in volume and 13.7% in revenues in relation to the same period last year. The main origins are still the Asian countries Vietnam, Indonesia, and China, which account for more than 86% of total imports. "Their shoes penetrate Brazil with dumping, that is, priced well below the market price, leading to unfair competition with domestic products. And that is precisely why we are requesting the renewal of the anti-dumping duty against Chinese shoes, further extending it against products from Vietnam and Indonesia,” says Ferreira, stressing that the duty against the Chinese product expires in March next year. Currently, each pair of shoes imported by China pays a surcharge of USD 10.22.

In footwear parts – uppers, heels, soles, insoles, etc. – the imports during the eight months totaled USD 13.44 million, 34.8% less than in the same period last year. The main origins were China, Paraguay, and Vietnam.