Footwear industry expects exports growth

The Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados) expects exports growth in 2015.

Last year, the industry had reduced sales, and according to the president of the association Heitor Klein, it resulted on the resignation of 24 thousand employees.

“We have the prospect of Brazilian exports growth and stability in domestic market, in comparison to the 2014 levels,” said Klein on an interview today (13) at the 42nd International Fair of Shoes, Sporting Goods and Artifacts (Couromoda), in São Paulo.

According to Klein, the devaluation of the Brazilian currency is a factor which increases the sector’s competitiveness. In his view, the US currency may come at a price of up to R$ 3.00, which he considers to be a point of foreign exchange balance. “This is a year that we think will be possible to grow enough in the international market. Exports are the focus of all companies,” he emphasized.

In December 2014, exports of footwear increased 10% compared to the same month of 2013. Revenue from sales abroad reached $ 119.25 million. However, throughout the year, the sector’s exports fell 2.6% compared to 2013. 129.5 million pairs of shoes worth US $ 1.067 billion were sent abroad, $ 30 million less than in 2013. Despite the 5.4% increase in sales volume, the decline in the average price of the product had a negative impact on revenues.

To help boost exports, Abicalçados has partnered with the Brazilian Agency for Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex). The government agency – under the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade – will invest $ 28.5 million during 2015 and 2016, while the association will contribute US $ 12.9 million for the promotion of national brands abroad. The United States, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, UAE, China and Russia are the main targets of Brazilian companies.

In case it is confirmed the maintenance of domestic sales and the growth in exports, Klein believes the industry will maintain employment levels. “With the stability in the domestic market and export growth, at least we will keep the staff we have today, even with the possibility of some increase,” he said about the around 255 thousand direct jobs in the sector.

Source: Exame Brasil

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