Brazilian footwear centrestage at ModaCalzado6 November 2006
Sixteen Brazilian footwear producers participated in the recent edition of Modacalzado in Madrid. The companies presented their latest footwear ideas for the Spring-Summer 2007 season as part of the Brazilian Footwear export programme. The initiative was organised by Abicalçados (Brazilian Association of Footwear Industries), with the support of Apex Brasil, the government export promotion agency, with the aim of consolidating the position of Brazilian footwear in the Spanish market. The Brazilian footwear industry is made up of 7,500 companies, and produces 725 million pairs of shoes a year. In 2005, Brazil exported 190 million pairs of shoes to 123 countries. Last year, the nation exported 190 million pairs of shoes, generating approximately US$1.8 billion in revenue. In terms of value, there was an increase of 4% compared with the previous year. However, the volume (number of pairs) has fallen by 11% on 2004, when the sector achieved its best performance in eleven years. Brazilian companies have identified the need to adapt their prices to the international market and give the winter season the same relevancy that the spring /summer collections have in Brazil. Spain is one of the most important markets for Brazilian footwear exports, being the largest importer of Brazilian footwear in Europe behind the United Kingdom. Between 2003-05, exports to Spain rose significantly but have witnessed something of a decline in recent months. Between January -June of this year, Spain imported some 4 million pairs of footwear from Brazil, which represents a 16% decrease on the same period of 2005. Turnover has also declined by 3%. Heitor Klein, executive head of Abicalçados, declared that 'we are going to attempt to re-conquer the Spanish market, which is of considerable strategic importance to Brazilian footwear.'