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The world’s largest footwear importer has registered a 6% drop in total footwear imports in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period a year earlier.
According to the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), U.S. footwear imports totalled 1.25 billion pairs in the first half of 2016 against 1.33 billion pairs in the same period the prior year, representing a 6.24% drop in volume. In value terms, a 5.8% decline was registered, totalling US$12.51 billion against US$13.29 billion in the first half of 2015.
On the supplier side, China, the biggest footwear exporter to the U.S, registered a 11.2% decrease in volume terms to 909.9 million pairs, meaning its share in the U.S. market has decreased from 82.2% to 73% year-on-year. In value terms, a 13.2% drop was registered to US$8.29 billion. However, with the exception of Italy, Mexico and Indonesia, the top ten footwear suppliers to the U.S have all increased their shipments to the country with double-digit growth rates, including Spain, Portugal and Brazil.
On the other hand, Japan, the fourth largest global footwear importer, has increased its footwear imports by 3.7% in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in the prior year, representing a total of US$2.29 billion against US$2.26 billion a year earlier.
Again, Chinese footwear imports to Japan, declined 4.8% in value terms in the period, from US$1.5 billion in 2015 to US$1.42 billion in 2016, meaning its market share dropped from 57.9% to 53.2%. The other top ten suppliers, with the exception of Bangladesh (-11.4%) and Spain (-7.1%), have all increased their shipments into the Japanese footwear market, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Italy, Cambodia, Germany and India.
In the first half of 2016, Portugal is said to have exported 40.1 million pairs of shoes valued at €902.2 million, up 1.8% year-on-year. If the second half of the year also records a good exports performance, the year of 2016 will represent the 7th consecutive year of positive growth for the Portuguese footwear sector.