23 January 2024

Brazil closes 2023 with exports in the red

The performance of Brazilian footwear on the US market dragged down annual results. Last year, exports in this category fell by 16.6% in volume and 10.8% in value, as compared to 2022, writes World Footwear.


According to the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados), the country shipped 118.34 million pairs of shoes in 2023, generating 1.16 billion US dollars. These figures reflect a 16.6% decline in volume and a 10.8% decline in value, on a comparable basis to 2022.


The decline was even more pronounced in December. In that month alone, Brazil exported 7.45 million pairs of shoes, worth 73.44 million US dollars, down by 41.5% and 33.3%, respectively, as compared to the same period of last year.


This downward movement didn’t come as a surprise to the Executive President of Abicalçados, Haroldo Ferreira, who highlighted the slowdown in the US and European economies, with high interest rates and record inflation. What’s more, the performance of the US market further depressed the results. “The drop in this market was proportionally three times greater than the decline in exports in general”, he said, recalling that the resumption of Chinese production has increased international competition.


In fact, from January to December 2023, Brazil shipped 10.64 million pairs of shoes to the US, generating 227 million US dollars, which indicates a decrease of 40.4% in volume and 32% in value, on a comparable basis to the same twelve months of the prior year.


Other Main Destinations


Despite domestic difficulties, Argentina was the second-largest destination for Brazilian footwear in 2023. The neighbouring country bought 14 million pairs of shoes for 223.8 million US dollars, down by 11.8% in volume but up by 24.8% in value, as compared to the previous year.


As usual, France was the third main destination for yellow and green footwear. Last year, Brazil shipped 2.84 million pairs of shoes to the European country worth 58.8 million US dollars, representing a decline of 53.5% in volume and 10% in value, on a comparable basis to 2022.


Brazilian Footwear Industry


Brazil has one of the largest footwear industries in the world, according to the World Footwear 2023 Yearbook (more information available HERE), mainly concentrated in the Northeast, South and Southeast regions. But given the size of the industry, the country’s large domestic market is mainly supplied by its own footwear industry. Nevertheless, in 2022, Brazilian exports reached a new record high of over 1.3 billion US dollars.

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