China accounts for 55.5% of global footwear, yet it no longer grows

China accounts for 55.5% of global footwear, yet it no longer grows

China is the world leader in the footwear industry. Yet, it no longer grows and its power, over the years, has become less intense. At present they run the risk of going further down, owing to increasingly high labour costs, customs duties imposed by Trump and the pandemic, caused by Covid-19 outbreak, which is changing the supply chain parameters. In fact, companies aim to diversify their supply, which must be sustainable, fast and, most of all, resilient. The World Footwear 2020 Yearbook reported the news.

It no longer grows

Like we said earlier, Chinese production has stopped growing. In China they currently manufacture more than 50% (55.5%) of the whole quantity of shoes made in the world. In 2019, manufacturing volumes were the same as the year before. For the records, such trend has been going on this way for a few years. In the meantime, competitors are progressively gaining ground. Among others, for example, Turkey: in 2010, it was in thirteenth place in the top shoe manufacturing countries; today they are in sixth position in the rankings.

Likewise, Vietnam and Indonesia have made progress as well: more than likely, they have taken former Chinese production shares. Several major groups are opting for such strategy, made even faster by Covid-19 pandemic: to reduce the number of shoes made in China. Italy is the only European country listed in the footwear manufacturing top ten. Apiccaps, Portugal’s association of footwear manufacturers, has drafted the annual report: they have stressed the fact that Italy will be soon out of the top rankings, as Cambodia, The Philippines and Thailand are getting closely behind.

Focus on exports meanwhile

With regard to exports as well, the World Footwear 2020 Yearbook has highlighted that China is facing a downturn. Although they exported, in 2019, nearly two pairs of shoes out of three, on a worldwide scale, we can see that China’s exports have been decreasing, since 2012, by 10%. In 2019, Chinese exports accounted for 63.6%, on a worldwide scale, while in 2012 their share amounted to 73.7%.

On top of that, Hong Kong exports have been dropping, since 2010, by 2.4% as they were in third place, in the export rankings, and are in fifteenth position now. What countries have been taking China and Hong Kong market shares? First of all, Vietnam, which has nearly doubled its market share. Then India and Turkey, which have remarkably enjoyed a positive trend. Looking at Europe, we can see that Germany has now become the leading footwear exporting country, therefore outdoing Italy and Belgium.

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