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

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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