31 October 2023
In a year in which Brazilian footwear exports slowed due to the difficult international economic context, Argentina surpassed the United States as the main destination for Brazilian footwear. Between January and September, Argentina bought 11.8 million pairs of shoes worth US$185.36 million. Report by CueroAmperica.
According to the Brazilian Association of Footwear Industries (Abicalçados), in the first nine months of 2023, this country exported 90.63 million pairs of shoes, generating US$907.17 million. These figures reflect a drop of 16% in volume and 8.4% in value, compared to the same period last year. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, footwear exports grew by 6.1% in volume and 23.7% in value.
“Footwear exports have been falling since the beginning of the year due to macroeconomic factors and also because last year’s base was very strong,” commented Abicalçados CEO Haroldo Ferreira. “Last year we obtained the best footwear export result in the last 12 years. But in 2023, China’s strong return to the market (…), the normalization of freight prices, the slowdown of the world economy, especially that of our main destination (the United States), and the increase in inflation harm our performance,” the manager highlighted.
The novelty is that Argentina surpassed the United States as the main destination for Brazilian footwear. Between January and September, Argentina purchased 11.8 million pairs of shoes worth US$185.36 million, 11.7% less in volume and 27.6% more in value, compared to a similar period of 2022. “Argentina, despite all its problems, such as the payment blockage and the serious internal economic crisis, is a key market for Brazilian footwear,” Ferreira considered.
In turn, Brazil exported 7.9 million pairs of shoes to the US in the first nine months of 2023, generating 174 million dollars, reflecting a 48.4% drop in volume and 35.7% % in value, in comparable terms to the same period of the previous year. “In the face of an inflationary crisis, Americans have been consuming fewer shoes. Furthermore, Brazil, which has a 1% share of the market, has been losing ground compared to the Asians,” said Abicalçados.
France ranked third as the main destination for Brazilian footwear. As of September, it purchased 2.23 million pairs of shoes worth €42 million, 57.8% less in volume and 14% less in value than in the first nine months of 2022.
According to Priscila Linck, Market Intelligence Coordinator at Abicalçados, Brazilian footwear production is expected to increase between 1% and 1.7% to around 860 million pairs in 2023, compared to the previous year, and between 1.5% and 2.8% in 2024, to about 870 million pairs. This growth will be driven mainly by the domestic market.
“Domestic consumption growth is expected to be between 3% and 3.4%, while exports could fall by around 9%. By 2024, the slowdown in external markets is expected to continue, so growth will depend, as in 2023, on the Brazilian domestic market. In 2024, domestic consumption is expected to grow between 2.6% and 3.1%, while export performance will be more unstable, ranging between a drop of 4.7% and an increase of 0.9%.”, he noted.