According to the latest edition of the World Footwear Yearbook, prepared by the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components and Leather Goods (APICCAPS), Portugal regained a place and assumed in 2019 the 20th position in the ‘top’ 20 of the largest world producers in the sector, a group which only includes two other countries in Europe with Italy in 10th position and Spain in 17th.

“Production continues to be concentrated mainly in Asia, where nine out of 10 pairs of shoes are produced. Over the last 10 years, Asia has slightly strengthened its dominance on the international scene, increasing its world production by two percentage points”, says APICCAPS.

The association also noted Portugal’s “leading position” in terms of average sales price, with the second highest figure (US$26.26 per pair exported), amongst the main world footwear producers, is still far from Italy (US$57.11 per pair), but already “clearly” above Spain (US$19.11 per pair).

In contrast, the average price of footwear exported by China in 2019 was $4.72.

Overall, the latest figures from the World Footwear Yearbook show that world footwear production has increased by 21.2 percent in the last decade, growing at an average annual rate of 2.2 percent, while global exports increased by 10.6 percent in volume and 59 percent in value.

In 2019, the world industry slowed down (it grew by only 0.6 percent, but still hit a new absolute record of 24.3 billion pairs produced at the end of last year), and the value of exports rose by 2 percent, also to a record $146 billion.

“This growth was mainly driven by Asian countries, which increased their exports by 2.8 percent,” APICCAPS noted, adding that, “in Europe, the growth rate was 1.2 percent”.