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Brazil Footwear Exports Drop 25% in May

Jun, 10, 2024 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202424

Data from the Brazilian Association of Footwear Industries (Abicalçados) show that between January and May, the sector’s exports totaled 42.9 million pairs valued at USD 420.14 million, reflecting drops of 25% in volume and 22% in value compared to the same period last year. In May alone, exports reached 7.33 million pairs worth USD 76 million, declines of 14.1% and 22.5%, respectively, compared to May 2023.

Haroldo Ferreira, executive president of Abicalçados, highlighted the instability in the international market, particularly in the North American economy and the economic crisis in Argentina. “These are two of our main destinations. The market in Latin America, where other key partners are located, is also economically unstable. Additionally, we face strong competition from Asian producers who have normalized deliveries after the drop in international freight prices. It will be a challenging year for footwear exports,” Ferreira commented.

From January to May, the United States, the top destination for Brazilian footwear, imported 4.38 million pairs worth USD 87.66 million, reflecting declines of 3.8% in volume and 4.7% in value from the same period last year. Other significant destinations included Argentina (3.9 million pairs and USD 79.68 million, down 40.6% and 25.3%, respectively) and Paraguay (3.22 million pairs and USD 17.9 million, down 27.3% and 12.8%).

The following chart uses DataLiner-derived data to paint a picture of how Brazil’s exports of footwear developed from month to month, from January 2021 to April 2024.

Brazilian Footwear Exports | Jan 2021 – Apr 2024 | TEUs

Source: DataLiner (click here to request a demo)

Regional Performance

From January to May, Rio Grande do Sul remained Brazil’s leading footwear exporter, shipping 13.15 million pairs worth USD 201 million, decreases of 17.1% in volume and 14.5% in value compared to the same period in 2023. Ceará followed with 13.8 million pairs valued at USD 92 million, down 23.4% and 28.6%, respectively, and São Paulo with 2.5 million pairs worth USD 38.73 million, down 33.8% and 25.5%.

Impact of Chinese Footwear

Predatory imports continue to challenge Brazil’s footwear industry. From January to May, 15.43 million pairs entered Brazil for USD 186.9 million, a 4.3% increase in volume with stable revenue compared to the same period last year. In May alone, imports reached 2.56 million pairs worth USD 33.94 million, a 13.5% increase in pairs but a 20% drop in value, indicating lower average prices.

Chinese footwear imports were particularly notable. In May, 862,680 pairs entered Brazil for USD 2.43 million, a 77.4% increase in volume but a 44.3% drop in value compared to May 2023. The average price of USD 2.82 per pair is the lowest since the historical series began in 1997.

“The aggressiveness of Chinese exporters is alarming, with clear practices of unfair competition such as dumping. How can shoes be produced for less than USD 3? This reflects a low level of adherence to International Labor Organization conventions, lack of sustainability criteria, among other issues,” Ferreira warned. In the first five months of 2024, China shipped 6.42 million pairs to Brazil for USD 18.98 million, a 13.2% drop in volume and a 22.5% drop in revenue compared to the same period last year.

Other Asian Imports

Vietnam and Indonesia also remain key sources of footwear imports for Brazil. From January to May, Vietnam exported 4.33 million pairs worth USD 88.73 million, a 10.4% increase in volume and a 0.9% drop in revenue compared to the same period last year. Indonesia exported 2.1 million pairs worth USD 35.85 million, reflecting increases of 0.7% in volume and 20.8% in revenue. In May alone, imports from Vietnam totaled 880,000 pairs worth USD 18.34 million, up 16.6% and 3.9%, respectively, while imports from Indonesia reached 306,000 pairs worth USD 5.46 million, down 47% and 54.3%.

Imports of Shoe Parts

Between January and May, imports of shoe parts—such as uppers, insoles, heels, and soles—totaled USD 14.27 million, up 24.8% from 2023. The main sources were China, Paraguay, and Colombia.

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