They cost more and are exporting less: the Brazilian shoe industry is suffering from the weakness of the dollar. “It’s not a real increase,” says Abicalçados

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The dollar rewards and the dollar punishes. The US currency is still what tips the scales for the Brazilian footwear industry, which is filing its first quarter’s results with a balance that is only apparently in the black. Exports grew significantly as regards turnover, according to Abicalçados, the national association for the sector: +14.2%, amounting to 259 million dollars. But there has been a fall in terms of volume: 31 million pairs, a fall of 1.6%. Abicalçados has no doubts about what is to blame: “Initially, exports showed a rise, but later analysis showed this wasn’t a genuine increase, but a trend reflecting the depreciation of the US currency.” The US remains the top destination for Brazilian shoes, however, followed by Argentina, which is growing, and France, where instead there was a substantial reduction in imports of Brazilian footwear between January and March.

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