External trade

Lady Footwear represents more than 50% of the exports

The Portuguese footwear industry is, increasingly, specialized in the production and exportation of lady shoes. In 2008, for the first time, sales of lady footwear in the external markets amounted more than 50% of the total exported.

According to the APICCAPS Office Studies in recent five years, there is an increase of around 6% on the lady segment. In quantity, the total percentage of lady footwear exports is 47%, plus 1.5% than 2003.

The footwear for man represents in value, currently, 32.6% of the exports (fell 5.2%) and 31.8% in quantity (fell 1.4%) while the child footwear declined 2.7% to 4,7 million of  pairs (fell 2.7%) in the amount of 82 million Euros (fel 1.6%).
Another growing segment is the safety footwear, which grew 0.7% in quantity to 1 million pairs and 0.6% in value to 25 million Euros.

On the other hand, the Portuguese footwear industry has been decreasing its dependence on exports of leather Footwear. In 2008, Portugal exported 45 million pairs of leather shoes (74.3% of total), amounting to 1,068 million Euros (87.6% of total), at an average price of € 23.53. Numbers still far from recorded five years before: in 2003 the exports of leather shoes amounted 81.5% in quantity and 90% in value.

The investment that the sector has been made in the development of new materials of high future potential of growth begins to appear in statistics.

The footwear constructed in other materials is also growing, which represents now 5.6% of total exports (compared to 4% in 2003). Waterproof footwear (from 1.1 to 1.5%) and plastic footwear (from 1.7% to 2.3%). The Footwear made by textile materials declined exports from 3.2 % in 2003 to 3% in 2008. The Portuguese footwear industry extends, that way, its offer to a range of new diverse products.

In terms of geographical areas, Felgueiras represents the largest amount of footwear exports. In 2008, companies from Felgueiras were responsible by 30% of the total exported by the sector, equivalent to 382 million Euros. According to APICCAPS Office Studies there is a reduction of 1% over the previous year.

Santa Maria da Feira lose importance in 2008, appears now in 2nd position with 181 million Euros exported last year, with 14% in total exports, one percentage point less than in 2007.

Conversely, the footwear industry is gaining importance in Guimarães, with an increase of 9 to 10%, for 103 million Euros exported.
It follows Oliveira de Azemeis (8% of total exports) and Vila Nova de Gaia (that decrease compared to 2007 and now provides 5% of the exports of the sector).
Interestingly, São João da Madeira, one of the reference areas in the production of footwear, continues to focus on the Internal market and the exports fell from 6% to 5%. The same happens in Ovar: less than 1% for a total of 2%.

The regions of Vizela and Leiria are responsible for 2%, the same number recorded in the same period of 2007.

The Footwear exports in 2008 increased 1.8%. This is the third consecutive year of growth in the sector at international level.