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Great dynamics in the global footwear industry

Great dynamics in the global footwear industry

27 Aug, 2019

Within the worldwide footwear industry, the year

2018 was marked by the positive dynamics initiated in 2017, following

two years of stabilization. In 2018 footwear production and exports grew

by 2.7% and 4.3%, respectively. Data are from the World Footwear

Yearbook 2019 now published by APICCAPS — the Portuguese Footwear

Association. Over the course of the last 9 years, during which the World

Footwear Yearbook has been published, worldwide footwear production

increased by 20.5% and global exports grew by 30.8% in volume and by

80.8% in value.

A Year Of Growth For Production And Exports

production worldwide reached 24.2 billion pairs in 2018, having grown

by 2.7% over the previous year. Since the first edition of this

Yearbook, and by way of comparison with 2010, footwear manufacturing

worldwide has expanded by 20.5%. In terms of its geographical

distribution, production continues to be heavily concentrated in Asia,

where almost 9 out of each 10 pairs of shoes are manufactured. Global

footwear exports increased for the second consecutive year in 2018,

setting a new all-time maximum of 142 billion dollars. However, in terms

of volume, this is still below the 15.2 billion pairs record set in

2015. Growth was unevenly distributed in geographical terms. China is

the origin of almost two thirds of all footwear exports, but its market

share fell again in 2018. Since 2010 China’s share in worldwide exports

has now lost 9 percentage points.

Shift In Consumer Patterns

the last decade footwear consumption patterns have changed to reflect

the international demographic and economic dynamics. Asia now buys most

of the shoes sold around the world. Its share of the total world

consumption has increased by 5 percentage points since 2010. China

continues to lead the rank of the 10 largest footwear consumers with a

18.4% share. From a continental perspective, Asia continues to be the

main region for footwear consumption (54%), followed by Europe (15%) and

North America (15%).

Rebalancing Europe And Asia

having lost share in the total value of world exports over recent

years, Europe reached a share of 37.7% share in 2018 (less than the

38.6% in 2010). In terms of quantity Europe accounts for 13.6% of the

global market, this being the highest level over the last six years.

However, Europe owns only one-sixth of Asia’ share: Asia is the origin

of more that 4 out of every 5 pairs of shoes exported worldwide.


is the leading continent in footwear imports, representing more than

one third of the world total, but Asia is catching up fast: in 2009 the

gap between their respective shares in total world imports amounted to

20 percentage points; in 2018, this was down to only 8.

The Impact Of The Us-China Trade War

recent developments of the US-China trade war are already having an

impact on the dynamics of international trade. In 2018 China lost 1.7

percentage points (pp) in its share of world manufacturing, with the

loss being distributed amongst other important players. The winners in

this situation were the three largest producers after China: India

gained 0.5 pp; Vietnam and Indonesia each gained 0.7 pp.

World Footwear


the Portuguese Footwear Association, has just launched the 9th edition

of the World Footwear Yearbook, a project developed since 2011, which

analyses the most important trends within the worldwide footwear

industry. Data for 2018, both in quantity and value, is available,

making it possible to position the main players with regards to

production, consumption, exports and imports. The publication also

includes the specific analysis of 84 different markets as well as

addressing the evolution of the sector’s leading global players.

World Footwear Yearbook 2019 (WFY 2019) is now on sale from

www.worldfootwear.com at 200€ (electronic format) and 250€ (electronic

format + hard copy).

More at: www.worldfootwear.com

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