Footwear exports grew by 7.5% in reais in 2019

Despite the decrease of 0.4% in dollars over the past year (USD 972 million), Brazilian footwear exports increased by 7.5% in reais (R$ 3.8 billion) in comparison with 2018. This happened due to the devaluation of the U.S. currency against the Brazilian currency, which maintained the profitability of exporters.  Data like this is detailed in the Panorama of Footwear Exports, a publication developed by the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados).

In addition to data on footwear exports in the year 2019, the publication, developed annually by the footwear organization, details shipments by origin, destination, type of product, and predominant material, among others. "The Panorama aims at assisting companies in making decisions and establishing short- and medium-term strategies, in addition to being a reference book for industry professionals and students," says the coordinator of Abicalçados' Market Intelligence Unit, Priscila Linck. 

According to Linck, in 2019 footwear exports were mainly influenced by two factors: the trade war between the United States and China and the political and economic crisis in South America, region that is the destination of over 45% of shipments of Brazilian shoes. Paradoxically, the influence of the trade war between the world's two greater powers had both a positive influence, increasing Brazilian shipments to the United States, and a negative influence, since the Chinese ended up "dumping" their products into other markets, making the competition with Brazilian products more intense.  “If, on the one hand, we had an increase in demand for our shoes by American buyers, especially to escape the high import tariffs adopted by Donald Trump's government, on the other hand, we had to compete with Chinese shoes in other important markets, especially in South America,” Linck explains.

The main destination of Brazilian footwear exports in 2019 was the United States, where 12 million pairs were sent to, generating USD 199 million, increases of 19.3% in dollars and of 11% in volume compared to 2018. The second destination of Brazilian shoes was Argentina, where 10.1 million pairs were shipped to, generating USD 104.9 million, decreases of 24.9% in values and of 14.4% in volume in relation to 2018.

For 2020, due to the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic, Abicalçados projects a decrease of between 22.4% and 30.6% in shipments to overseas locations, a result that would make the industry return to the levels it registered in the 1980s.   "Global consumption has been decreasing dramatically, by more than 20%, which will likely severely impact footwear exports. In addition to this decrease, there are logistical problems and also the competition with Asian shoes abroad," says Linck.

The Panorama of Footwear Exports is available for free download at the website