2018, 24.2 billion pairs: footwear’s global geography

La mappa globle della produzione di scarpe nel 2018

The world’s footwear production in 2018 grew by 2.7%. In volume: 24.2 billion pairs. More than half of which, is made in China. Yet, Vietnam and Indonesia, thanks to their lower costs and first effects of the trade war between China and the USA, are the countries that grew the most. Italy places 10th, with a 0.8% quota of the world’s total. In summary, these were the key figures of the World Footwear Yearbook 2019, crafted and published by Portuguese association di APICCAPS.

It has increased by more than 20% over the last 9 years. 9 out of 10 shoes come from Asia. In comparison to 2010, China reduced its quota by nearly 7 percentage points, due to the increase in production costs within the country. Brazil is the largest non-Asian producer, while Italy is the only European country in the top ten list, but could soon be overtaken by Cambodia and Thailand.

Throughout the last decade Africa’s role has grown, and consumption has changed. Very changed. Asia is now the largest purchaser of shoes. Its consumption quota in relation to the world has increased by 5% since 2012. Europe and North America, on the other hand, have taken steps back. Respectively, consumption in the two areas decreased by 5% and 3% in the last 9 years.

The world’s footwear exports also grew by 4.3% during the last year, reaching the all-time record of 142 billion USD. Europe has increased its export quota by 2.6% since 2010. But, as highlighted by Revistadelcalzado, its weight is only of 13.6%: a sixth of that of Asia. The Far East is responsible for the export of 4 pairs out of 5 in the world. China covers nearly 2/3 of all exports. But its market share fell by 1.3% in 2018. It’s the last confirmation that the downtrend is continuing, as the country lost 9% in the last 9 years. During the same period, on the other hand, Vietnam has nearly doubled its performance.

Europe is the continent that imports the most pairs. It’s quota is worth 33% of the total, but the difference with Asia is thinning. In 2009 there were 20 percentage points in between, now there is only 8. North America is also losing positions, even though the USA is the country importing the most. Seven European countries, led by Germany, are part of the 2018 top-ten for footwear imports. It’s worth mentioning that the United Kingdom was 2nd two years ago and is now 5th.


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