France, Switzerland, United States, Germany and China were the top five countries for Italian footwear exports in the first nine months of 2022, according to the latest data from Confindustria Moda Study Centre for Assocalzaturifici, the national association representing Italian shoemakers.
By country, footwear exports to the United States in the first nine months of 2022 increased 61% in value and 28% in volume, thanks to favorable exchange rates, the report said. Germany, which has consistent export country, grew by 26%. And other important EU countries were also positive, such as Spain (up 23%), the Netherlands (up 36%), Poland (up 16%), and Belgium (up 19%), above pre-Covid numbers.
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The report also noted that exports to the United Kingdom are coming back (up 23% over the same time last year) after the collapse of the last two years, following Brexit.
As for China, the report showed an 86% increase in exports to the country in the third quarter of 2022 after months of Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions. Cumulatively across the first nine months, China saw a 43% increase in export value, mostly driven by luxury brands.
In total, the report showed that Italy saw a 23% increase in overall footwear exports in the period, with sales reaching 9.35 billion euros (approximately $10 billion based on current exchange rate), an increase of 23.7% over the same time in 2021. What’s more, a total of 165.2 million pairs were sold during the period, an increase of 11.7% over 2021, at an average price per pair of 56.60 euros ($60.83), an increase of 10.7%.
But it’s not all good news in the report. Russia’s war with Ukraine have taken a toll, with exports to the regions down 32% in the first nine months of 2022, with a total decline of 40% since the beginning of the conflict.
And, according to Giovanna Ceolini, president of Assocalzaturifici, a sharp increase in raw material and energy costs is eroding margins despite a forecast to return of pre-pandemic levels of footwear exports in the country.
“The effects of the [COVID-19] crisis appear evident in the data relating to the demographics of businesses (with 180 closures among footwear manufacturers since the beginning of the year, down 4.5%),” Ceolini said. “Uncertainty dominates short-term expectations… inflation, high bills, and geopolitical turmoil are undermining the climate of confidence, curbing the demand for goods.”
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