Portugal’s footwear exports increased 27.5% to €957 million in the first half compared to the same period last year, registering “the best performance ever”, the industry association announced on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and its Implements (APICCAPS) said that until June, Portugal exported 40 million pairs of shoes worth €957 million, which represents a growth of 22% and 27.5%, respectively, in quantity and value.
“This is the best performance ever of Portuguese footwear in foreign markets, even surpassing the historical maximum of 2017,” it pointed out.
Relative to 2019, prior to the pandemic, Portuguese footwear exports have grown 12.2%.
In the six months to June, Portugal exported more than 95% of footwear production to 170 countries on five continents.
According to the association, Portuguese footwear “is expanding in virtually all the most relevant markets”.
“In Europe, the growth was 26.2%, with emphasis on the growth in Germany (17% up to 218 million), France (31% up to €185 million) and the Netherlands (31.2% up to €146 million). Similarly, the good performance in the United Kingdom continued: growth of 34% to €55 million,” it added.
The “major highlight” is the growth of Portuguese footwear in markets outside the EU, particularly in the U.S., where the year-on-year increase until June was 66% to €55 million.
Also noteworthy is the increase in sales to Canada (32% up to €13 million) and Japan (45% up to €5 million), highlighted by APICCAPS as proof of “excellent performance”.
Quoted in the statement, the president of the association, Luis Onofre, said he believed that 2022 would be “a year of strong affirmation of the Portuguese footwear in foreign markets.
“The data from the first half of 2022 confirm that the Portuguese footwear did its homework during the pandemic and is gaining ground from its more direct competitors,” he said.
Still, the association leader warns that it is necessary to be alert to external signs: “Pandemic, the war in Ukraine and inflation are more than enough reasons to be cautious about the business”, he pointed out.
For the president of APICCAPS, “so that the sector continues to perform well in foreign markets, it should strengthen its focus on foreign trade promotion.
“Also, the investments that we have planned to achieve in the next two years in digitalisation and sustainability – €140 million investment in total – will create the conditions for Portugal to be increasingly an international reference in footwear excellence,” he concluded.