2020 was a tough year for the footwear industry, but it turned out to be better than predicted. In 2020, footwear production and exports fell 15,8% and 19%, respectively, according to APICCAPS, the Portuguese Footwear Association's World Footwear 2021 Yearbook.
Forecasts for the development of the consumer sector economy in 2020 were the most gloomy, in particular, the fall in global footwear consumption in the year the pandemic began was predicted at the level of 20% or more. The final data for 2020 in the developed countries of Europe and North America really correspond to this forecast. But Asia and the less developed countries were in a better position, and this was reflected in the fact that the decline in the global footwear industry was not as significant as expected.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the shoe business hard, with shoe production falling by nearly 2020 billion pairs in 4, offsetting any growth that has accumulated over the previous decade. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the geographic distribution of footwear production has not changed. The footwear industry is still highly concentrated in Asia, where 9 out of 10 pairs of shoes in the world are produced. Even in the face of a global pandemic, Asia managed to increase its share in world production by 0,2 percentage points. China remains the largest footwear manufacturer in the world (54,3%). However, in 2020, the Asian giant cut footwear production by more than 2 billion pairs and continued to lose its global share (by one percentage point). This is reflected in the figures showing the trend towards the transfer of footwear production to other Asian countries.
Asia also accounts for more than half of the world's footwear consumption (55,8%). It is followed by Europe (13,6%) and North America (13,1%). The European Union, when viewed as a single region, is the fourth largest consumer footwear market, with footwear consumption reaching 2020 million pairs in 1. Under the influence of Brexit and the pandemic, the European Union dropped two positions in the ranking. At the country level, the distribution of consumption reflects the distribution of the population. The US share fell below 763% for the first time. While China has exceeded the 10% threshold and now, together with India, accounts for almost a third of the world's footwear consumption. Per capita shoe consumption ranges from 20 pairs in Africa to 1,5 pairs in North America.
Global footwear exports in 2020 (12,1 billion pairs) were down 19% year-on-year, at a record low over the past ten years.
In value terms, the decline was less (14%), but still total exports returned to the level of 2013. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted international supply chains and industrial ties, which led to a decrease in the share of exported products, which fell from 62% to 59 %.
Asia continues to lead the export of footwear, but its share of global exports has been slowly declining over the past decade. This trend continued in 2020. The same decline is observed in the rest of the continents, with the exception of Europe, whose share in world exports has increased by almost 2011 percentage points since 4. In 2020, Vietnam's share of global footwear exports exceeded 10% for the first time. In value terms, Vietnam became the largest exporter of textile footwear, ahead of China.
The average export price for a pair of shoes exceeded $ 10 for the first time. The increase in the average export price for a pair of shoes has been observed since 2011. The average growth is 3,3% per year. In 2020, despite the negative impact of the pandemic on demand, price growth accelerated, reaching 6%, with an average price per pair of more than $ 10.
The share of exports of textile footwear has been declining over the past two years. After ten years of continuous growth, for the last two years of footwear in world exports, the share of textile footwear in physical terms has been decreasing; in value terms, it has stabilized, which reflects the upward trend in prices for this type of footwear. The share of leather footwear in total exports in physical terms increased slightly, despite the declining trend observed at the beginning of the century. In value terms, the share of leather footwear has stabilized.
A more detailed analysis can be found in the 11th edition of the World Footwear Yearbook, a project launched by APICAPS in 2011 that analyzes the most important trends in the global footwear industry. The research paper presents data for 2020, both in quantitative and value terms. It also includes an analysis of 84 different markets and a study of the development of the leading global players in the footwear sector.