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Footwear exports in the first semester at the same levels as 2019

After experiencing a year of decline due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brazilian footwear industry has been experiencing a significant recovery in footwear shipments in the first half of 2021. According to data amassed by the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados), in the first half of the year, footwear exports totaled USD 389 million, generated by the sale of 57 million pairs. The increases correspond to 17.7% in revenues and 32.3% in volume in comparison with the weakened base of the same period last year, when the world was going through the height of the new coronavirus pandemic. Considering the pre-pandemic period, in comparison with the first half of 2019, there were decreases of 19% in revenues and 0.3% in volume. The lower value generated by exports, Abicalçados explains, is due to price adjustments for the international market, since it is possible to set more competitive prices with a more appreciated dollar. 

Considering the month of June alone, in 2021, 7.78 million pairs were shipped, generating USD 65.47 million, increases of 116% in volume and 84% in revenues compared to the depressed base of last June.  In comparison with June 2019, the increase in pairs amounts to 19.7% and the decrease in generated revenues is 2.6%. 

Abicalçados' executive president, Haroldo Ferreira, points out that, although there is an indication of a sensible recovery in shipments, at the end of 2021, the industry will possibly be at levels below those registered before the pandemic, in 2019. "The base for growth is historically weak; it took us to the levels of almost four decades ago,” says the executive, noting that exports dropped by more than 18% last year.

Destinations
In the first half of the year, the main destination for Brazilian footwear abroad was the United States, to which 6.36 million pairs were shipped, generating USD 88 million, increases of 44.4% in volume and 30.8% in revenues in relation to the first half of 2020. 

The second destination during the semester was Argentina, which received 5 million pairs, generating USD 48 million, increases of 59.3% and 48.4%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

The third destination during the semester was France, which received 3.36 million pairs, generating USD 28 million, increases of 13.7% and 11.7%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2020. 

States
The main footwear exporter during the first semester was the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Companies in the state shipped 14 million pairs, for which USD 166.8 million were paid, increases of 33.8% in volume and 14.3% in revenues in relation to the first half of last year. 

The second exporter during the semester was Ceará, from which 18 million pairs were shipped for USD 95.47 million, increases of 26.1% and 16.5%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2020. 

The third largest exporter during the period was the state of São Paulo. The companies in São Paulo shipped 4.25 million pairs, which generated USD 43.16 million, increases of 30.7% and 25%, respectively, in comparison with the first half of 2020. 


Chinese imports registered an increase of 125% in June
Just like exports, footwear imports also registered an increase in June. The third consecutive month with an increase compared to 2020, the sixth month registered the penetration of 1.3 million pairs, for which USD 26.7 million were paid, increases of 23.2% and 19.7% compared to June 2020. Over the semester, footwear imports totaled 12 million pairs, for which USD 159.7 million were paid, a decrease of 4.6% in volume and an increase of 1% in revenues compared to the six months of last year. 

The three main origins of shoes imported by Brazil are still Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. According to the report, in June, Vietnam exported 547.6 thousand pairs to Brazil for USD 12.64 million, a decrease of 10% in volume and an increase of 9.1% in revenues compared to the corresponding month in 2020.  Indonesia shipped 216 thousand pairs for USD 4.34 million, a decrease of 6.7% in volume and an increase of 3.8% in revenues compared to June last year. China, in turn, registered the greatest increases. In the sixth month, 286 thousand Chinese pairs were imported for USD 1.68 million, increases of 125% in pairs and 9% in revenues in comparison with the same period in 2020. 

In the six months, imports from Asian countries registered the following figures: Vietnam, 4.43 million pairs and USD 89 million, decreases of 16.4% and 1.5%, respectively; Indonesia, 1.5 million pairs and USD 27.2 million, decreases of 8.6% and 0.1%, respectively; and China, 5 million pairs and USD 18.55 million, an increase of 5.2% in volume and a decrease of 5.5% in revenues compared to 2020. 

In footwear parts – uppers, insoles, soles, heels, etc. – imports during the semester totaled USD 12.5 million, an increase of 18% in relation to the first semester of 2020. The main origins were Paraguay, Vietnam, and China.