Portugal exports fewer but more expensive shoes in the first half of the year


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Portuguese footwear exports fell by 7.3% in quantity in the first half of the year, to 36.6 million pairs, but the increase in the average price allowed a year-on-year growth of 1% in value, to 964 million euros.

On the eve of the start of the world’s biggest footwear fair – MICAM, in Milan, Italy, with 36 Portuguese companies present – the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and Related Products Manufacturers (APICCAPS) points out that this performance comes “after an extraordinary 2022, with export growth of more than 20% to a new all-time high of 2,009 million euros and despite the slowdown in the main export destination markets”.

“The growth in the average price of exported Portuguese footwear, which rose by 8.9% to 26.35 euros a pair, was decisive for this record,” he emphasizes.

APICCAPS admits that, “as expected”, 2023 “is proving to be a particularly demanding year for the footwear sector, due in particular to an economic slowdown common to most of the main destination markets for Portuguese footwear”.

In Germany, for example, the country’s main footwear market, there was a slight drop of 0.6%, to 212 million euros: “Europe’s traditional engine ‘seized up’ and, as a result, one in 10 shoe shops closed last year, resulting in a total of 1,500 closures,” notes APICCAPS, quoting data from the German Footwear Association.


Overall, Portuguese footwear exports to Europe ended the six-month period on a positive note, with growth of 0.6% to 780 million euros, particularly in France (up 6% to 195 million euros) and the Netherlands (up 4% to 57 million euros).

Outside of Europe, the markets in Canada (up 5% to 13 million euros), Australia (up 11% to 5 million euros) and Japan (up 0.3% to 5 million euros) stood out.

Overall, the footwear sector grew by 3.5% to 1,153 million euros up to June, mainly driven by the good performance of the footwear components sector, which grew by 18.8% to 39 million euros, and especially by the leather goods sector, which continued to record highs: It grew by 18.2% in the first half of 2023, to 150 million euros.

For APICCAPS, “in a particularly complex situation”, the expectation is that 2023 can be “a year of consolidation for Portuguese footwear abroad, even if this means stepping up investment in external promotion and finding new windows of opportunity”.

“In practical terms – he concludes – Portuguese footwear continues to strengthen its position.”

As far as world footwear exports are concerned, they continued to increase and recorded a 9% growth in 2022 (after a 7.4% increase in 2021), reaching a total of 15.2 billion pairs, above pre-pandemic levels, but still below the 2014 record (15.7 billion pairs).

Centimeter at footwear workshop.
Centimeter at footwear workshop.

In terms of value, world footwear exports reached a new high of 175.2 billion dollars in 2022, up 16.1% on the previous year and accumulating a growth of 42.9% over the last decade.

As for the average world export price, it reached a new record of 11.54 dollars a pair in 2022, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2021 and a growth of 38.2% over the last decade.

Portugal, with an average price of 27.99 dollars, maintained the second highest average export price among the world’s main footwear producers in 2022.

Iris Lavan
Iris Lavanhttps://irislavan.com/en/
With a background as a consultant in the medical industry, Iris Lavan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Portugal Pulse. Iris also runs a company in Tel Aviv offering marketing, business development, content creation and public relations services. She holds a degree in economics and management, giving her a solid grounding in business strategy and financial planning. Iris' commitment to Portugal Pulse is reflected not only in her consulting career, but also in her impact on the Portugale media landscape in Israel. She was an interviewer for Hadshot Portugal חדשות פורטוגל, a media outlet that broadcasts news about Portugal in Hebrew, where she provided valuable information on current affairs, healthcare and the economy. Since July 2023, Iris has also been part of the Portugal Pulse team.

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