The growth of global production had already begun to slowdown in 2019, even before the arrival of the Covid storm, arriving at +0.6%. A slowdown, which however did not prevent a new record of 24.3 billion pairs of shoes being produced globally in 2019. This number brings the global production of footwear to a +21.2% uptrend for the decade under analysis.
These are the numbers presented by the World Footwear Yearbook, the annual report that analyses the main trends within the international footwear industry promoted by Apiccaps, the Portuguese Footwear, Components and Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association.
The report reconfirms the strong concentration of worldwide production in Asia, which over the last decade reinforced its position by growing 2%. In Asia, 9 out of 10 pairs are produced worldwide. Among the top ten producers, we find seven Asian countries: China is always at the head of the classification with a 55% share, followed by India that arrives “only” at 10%, and then Vietnam and Indonesia. In fifth place, we find the first manufacturing country outside of Asia, Brazil, which rises up in the ranks of the classification. Even Turkey continues its ascent, followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the second to last and last places are respectively Mexico and Italy.
Asia also accounts for over half of global consumption (54%), a position achieved because of the great economic and demographic dynamism of the continent: the annual per capita consumption is still low at 2.6 pairs compared to the 5.6 pairs of North America, making it a market with great prospects for growth. Europe and North America represent 14.8% each, and even Africa has shown signs of dynamic growth by arriving at 9.5% of global consumption. In terms of countries, the three leading consumers in order are respectively: China (18.7%), India (11.6%) and the USA (10.9%).
A good 15 billion pairs of shoes, representing 62% of what is produced worldwide, were exported in 2019. It’s no surprise that it is once again Asia to top the list in this classification, with an 83.9% share of global exports. Its percent over the course of the last decade has slightly diminished, while that of Europe has slightly increased (+2.6%). Among the top ten exporters, China represents two-thirds of all shoes exported in 2019, despite the fact that its market share has declined over the last decade by 7 percentage points. While Hong Kong is no longer in the running, Vietnam has instead doubled its market share in the 2010-2019 decade, coming in at second place. India and Turkey – in fifth and sixth place – have enjoyed extraordinary performances, while among European countries, Germany is the fourth leading global exporter and Belgium surpasses Italy – which is confirmed as the first exporting country in terms of value for an average price of 57.11 dollars per pair – and Holland.
Over the last decade, the use of footwear with a fabric upper has become increasingly popular: with a growth of 14.6% during the decade in question, today, it represents around a third of the shoes on the market and it even recorded a +80% rise in exports between 2010 and today. Instead, footwear with a leather, rubber, or plastic upper lost market shares in the same period, the former above all in value, and the latter in quantity. In any case, rubber and plastic footwear represent almost half of footwear on the market (47.5%) and leather footwear represents 38.8% of the value.