23 December 2021

With more than five thousand factories that directly employ around 280 thousand people throughout Brazil, the footwear sector is expected to grow more than 12% in 2021. The estimate is from the Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados). Growth will be driven by footwear exports, which should increase by more than 30% in the year. Report by Abicalçados.

The chief executive of Abicalçados, Haroldo Ferreira, assesses that 2021 was a year of gradual recovery, especially from the second half onwards. “Last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we registered a drop of more than 18%, returning to the productive level of more than a decade ago. As of 2021, with the advance of vaccination, the opening of physical trade and the resumption of international demand, we started to have a recovery”, he assesses. According to him, even with the growth of more than 12%, the sector should end the year with a production 8.4% lower than that of 2019. The production of shoes for 2021 is estimated at almost 860 million pairs, which places Brazil in fifth position among the largest producers on the planet, behind China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia. According to the most current data prepared by Abicalçados,

If the domestic market slipped into recovery throughout the year, the same did not happen with exports. Between January and November, according to Abicalçados, 110.77 million pairs were shipped abroad, generating US$ 805.7 million, increases both in volume (+31%) and in revenue (+34.6%) in the relation with the same period of 2020. The number, in pairs, is already 5.6% higher than the same period of 2019. Projects from the entity indicate that shipments should end the year with an average increase of 30% over last year, with growth of more than 5% over 2019.

Intensive in terms of labor, the footwear sector also registered an increase of more than 37 thousand jobs throughout the year. In October, more than 282,000 people were employed in the activity, 13% more than in the same month of last year and 0.6% less than in 2019. “The activity responds very quickly to demand stimuli. With the recovery in consumption, we had an important increase in the stock of jobs. The maintenance of the payroll tax exemption also played an important role in this result, as it allowed companies to continue generating jobs without a greater tax burden”, assesses Ferreira.

Next year

For 2022, Abicalçados estimates the continuation of the recovery. The entity’s projection is for a growth of around 3% in production, which should still leave the sector 6% below the productive levels of the pre-pandemic. Exports should have an increase of more than 5% in volume, with a result 7.5% higher than in 2019. “The shoe industry, as traditionally, should grow more than the Brazilian GDP”, concludes the executive.

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