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Brazil footwear exports shoots vertically for Jan-May, reports Abicalcados

17
Jun '05
Brazilian shoe export revenues rose 8% to nearly $770 million in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2004 even as sales by volume slipped, according to a survey by the Brazilian Footwear Association (Abicalçados).

The rise in revenue was principally due to an average 20% price hike in each pair of shoes exported, said the president of Abicalçados, Elcio Jacometti.

Due to this price hike, however, principal buyers of Brazilian shoes have been looking to Asian countries, notably China, for new orders of shoe shipments, instead of passing along the price increase to their customers, said Jacometti.

Exports in volume, as a consequence, have fallen 10% in this period to 89.6 million pairs year on year.

The U.S. continues to be the largest buyer of Brazilian shoes, but sales revenue nudged down by 7% to just over $ 380 million in the first five months of this year compared to 2004, even while volume dropped by 22%.

Mexico - the fifth-largest buyer of Brazilian footwear - also reduced imports by 26% in volume in the same period, sending sales revenue sinking by 20%. Meanwhile, sales revenue to Canada shrunk 19%, while sales by volume dropped 13%.


The effect of this fall-off in exports can be felt in various factories throughout the country, said Jacometti.

Over 11,000 jobs, for example, have been cut in 19 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul, he noted.

"The small companies are the ones that have suffered the most," Jacometti said, explaining that smaller negotiations depend on requests conveyed through traders, instead of sales on the international market.


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