Portuguese footwear in 9% free fall
Portugal’s footwear industry had a tough year to July suffering a fall in orders for the export market of 9% while losing 1% in value.
This is according to the news agency Lusa that sounded out some of the big manufacturers at the annual shoe fair MICAM in Milan last week.
The company Calçado Penha of Guimarães, which made its debut at the word’s largest shoe fair, believed that its orders would “certainly grow by 2 digits in 2023” on the €4.62 million turnover it had in 2022 – a record year, driven by sales to France (80% of its market) and Sweden.
After a record year in 2022, in which exports of Portuguese footwear grew 10% in volume per pair to €27.30, this year’s dearth of orders has begun to worry business owners.
“The lack of orders from overseas clients is proving difficult for companies in the sector after two years of supply problems with raw materials”, says the Portuguese Footwear, Components and Leather Articles Industry Association (APICCAPS).
Although the majority of companies continues to believe that business is “sufficient or good” despite a lack of skilled manpower, order and production books are down this year so far, and the association expects this trend to continue with a slight worsening of orders from overseas clients”.
Nevertheless, APICCAPS points out that the “vast majority of companies have not changed the number of people they employ, and financial difficulties have not increased” although a small percentage of firms even saying they have not encountered difficulties and have even “seen a slight uptick” in orders.
APICCAPS director Paulo Gonçalves told Lusa: “Practically all of the sector players are suffering falls in production and exports, but the Portuguese footwear industry is seeking to weather the downturn with companies at MICAM seeking out new opportunities that they hope will arise in 2024.”