Promising beginning of the year for footwear exports

There was good news for Brazilian footwear exporters in the beginning of the year. According to data prepared by the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados), the first month registered the shipment of 15 million pairs for US$ 99.3 million, a 33.4% increase in volume and a 23% increase in revenues in comparison with the first month of last year.

Abicalçados' executive president, Heitor Klein, highlights that the positive figure was reached due to exports from the state of Ceará, which increased by almost 60% in relation to the first month of last year. "There is a movement of resumption of shipments, already observed in the final months of last year. The successful participation in the first major international platform of the year, Expo Riva Schuh, in Italy, gives us good signs for 2019," he mentions.  According to him, the more stable exchange rate and the recovery of the market in the United States are also important indicators.



The main exporter in the first month of the year was the state of Ceará. From there, 7.3 million pairs were shipped for US$ 38 million, 44.3% and 56.8% increases in relation to January 2018. The second exporter was Rio Grande do Sul, which shipped 2.37 million pairs that generated US$ 37.9 million, a 26.8% increase in volume and a 9.2% increase in dollars in comparison to the corresponding month last year. The third origin of exports was São Paulo. Companies in that state shipped 510.2 thousand pairs for US$ 7.35 million, 25.5% and 5.2% increases, respectively, in relation to the previous year.



Among the destinations, prominence to the United States. In January, Americans imported 1.67 million pairs for US$ 18.47 million, an 80% increase in volume and a 52% increase in revenues compared to the same month in 2018. "The perception of recovery in the US market, especially based on the possibility of extra taxation of Chinese footwear in that country, is being confirmed," Klein celebrates. For him, Brazil will likely occupy the space left by Asian footwear in that market.

The second destination of shipments in January was France, to 1.77 million pairs were shipped, generating US$ 9 million, 4% and 21% decreases, respectively, compared to January 2018.

Another setback in the first month was Argentina, which imported less Brazilian shoes amidst a deep economic crisis and preservation of its foreign exchange reserves. Last month, Argentinians bought 333.27 thousand pairs for US$ 4.3 million, a 2% decrease in pairs and a 24.6% decrease in revenues in comparison with the corresponding month in 2018.

A positive highlight was the United Kingdom, a target market of the Brazilian Footwear, the footwear exports promotion program developed by Abicalçados.  "With heated debates on its departure from the European Union, the country seems to be diversifying its footwear suppliers," Klein assesses. In January, British companies imported 307.3 thousand pairs for US$ 3.54 million, a 231% increase in pairs and a 115% increase in dollars in relation to the first month of last year.


Imports decreasing

The first month of the year registered a decrease in footwear imports, with 2.78 million pairs and US$ 39.53 million, a 4.8% decrease in volume and a 1.3% decrease in dollars in relation to 2018. The main origins were Vietnam, with 1.33 million pairs and US$ 22 million (1.8% and 8% decreases, respectively); Indonesia, with 570.5 thousand pairs and US$ 8.45 million (42.3% and 24% increases, respectively); and China, with 528.7 thousand pairs and US$ 3 million (40% and 15.3% decreases, respectively).

In footwear parts – insoles, soles, heels, uppers etc. – imports added up to US$ 4.64 million, a 35% decrease in relation to January 2018. The main origins were China, Paraguay, and Vietnam.