Portuguese factories decrease shoe sales by 10 million pairs in 2023

Written By Manuel Poças

“Made in Portugal” shoe exports fell 8,2% in value during last year. Compared to the previous year, shoe sales decreased by 10 million pairs in 2023. This accounts for a drop of 11.3% in the number of pairs sold.

Similarly to what happened with the textile and clothing sectors, the shoe exports were affected by the decrease in imports from clients from Germany (-5.6%), the Netherlands (-13.7%), the United Kingdom (-9%), the United States (-11.3%), and Denmark (-28.5%).

Note that all these sectors export 90% of the production to 173 countries spread through the five continents. Hence, they are extremely dependent on orders from those countries. The insufficiency of foreign orders is what worries.

The shoe sector is composed of 1500 companies, which are responsible for 40 thousand jobs. There are a considerable amount of jobs that are being threatened. Notwithstanding, the producers hope that the economic recovery of some of their main markets fuels the creation of new opportunities for the companies.

It is relevant to note that Portuguese shoes are the second most expensive in the world, reaching an average price of 27.7€ per pair in the international market in 2023 (+3.45%). However, this increase was still insufficient when considering the rise of the minimum wage and the price of raw materials.

Fortunately, this tendency is not limited to Portugal. Consumption values fell worldwide, and retail businesses were not able to liquidate a significant part of the stock accumulated during the previous years. This translated into a general decrease in value.

Despite the scenario, estimates suggest that consumption, worldwide, will increase by 9.2% in 2024, and Portuguese companies hope that the expected surge will help them balance their accounts.

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