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Overview of Vietnam’s leather & footwear industry

Overview of Vietnam’s leather & footwear industry

Thursday 13, 01 2022
Despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the geographical distribution of footwear production in the world has not been affected. Nine out of ten pairs of shoes in the world are still produced Asia, accounting for 87% of the total world footwear production.

World leather and footwear industry

According to data from the World Footwear Yearbook, world’s footwear production in the period 2010 - 2019 grew at an average annual rate of 2.2%. In 2019, the industry's growth slowed down, growing only 0.6% compared to 2018, reaching a new production record of 24.3 billion pairs – a record that could be held for a few more years due to the pandemic.

World Footwear Yearbook

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the world footwear business, with production decreasing by15.8% (equivalent to a decrease of nearly 4 billion pairs) compared to 2019. Despite such impacts, the geographical distribution of footwear production in the world has been intact.

Shoes are mainly manufactured in Asia with 9 out of 10 pairs of shoes in the world are produced here - accounting for 87% of the total world footwear production. Following is South America with 4.6%, Europe with 3.2%, Africa with3.1%, and North America with 1.5%. China is the world's largest footwear producer (accounting for 54.3% of total output).

However, in 2020, China's footwear production fell by more than 2 billion pairs compared to 2019. This nation continued to decrease its market share in the world (down 1 percentage point), which reflects the shift of production to other Asian countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on footwear consumption in developed economies such as North America and Europe, contributing to bridging the gap between consumption per capita among continents. The gap between footwear consumption per capita in North America and Africa has decreased from 4 pairs in 2019 to 2.8 pairs in 2020.

Euro pean

Footwear consumption per capita also fell sharply in Europe and Oceania, but fell much less in Asia and South America. In 2020, Asia accounted for 55.8% of total worldwide footwear consumption, followed by Europe and North America.

On a per-market basis, footwear consumption also reflects population density. Footwear consumption in the US fell below 10% of total world market consumption for the first time. Meanwhile, China's footwear consumption has exceeded 20% and together with India, these two markets now account for nearly a third of the total world consumption.

A glance at Vietnam's leather and footwear industry

Vietnam's leather shoe industry has developed very quickly and is considered one of the driving forces of the Vietnamese economy. With about 240 operating businesses, Vietnam’s leather and footwear industry is a key export industry, attracting about 500,000 employees.

Vietnam accounts for 10.2% of the world's total footwear exports with 1,233 billion pairs in 2020, 4.4 times higher than the figure for 2011 (accounting for 2.3%, with 316 million pairs of shoes exported).

Notably, Vietnam has become the largest exporter of canvas shoes (in terms of value), outstripping China. This is the first time since the publication of the World Footwear Yearbook that China has not led the export of a footwear item. The next countries in the list include Indonesia exporting 366 million pairs (3% market share); Germany 301 million pairs (2.5% market share); and Turkey 280 million pairs (2.3% market share).

Vietnam's footwear products

Vietnam's footwear products have been exported to more than 150 markets around the world. In recent years, the US is the largest importer of Vietnamese footwear of all kinds. Before 2020, footwear exports to the US market maintained a good growth rate in turnover (continuously increasing at double-digit rates for many years), with an average growth rate in the period 2015 - 2019 reaching 13%/year. Exports to this market account for more than one third of the total export turnover of the whole industry. In 2020, the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic negatively affected footwear exports to this market. However, there was a sharp increase in shoes exports to the US in the first months of 2021.

In fact, over the past time, the proportion of footwear import turnover from Vietnam has continuously increased. For the EU market, the EVFTA, effective from August 1, 2020 is considered the biggest driving force for the growth of the footwear industry in recent years.

After the EVFTA officially took effect, Vietnam's footwear exports to the EU market gradually recovered. Vietnamese footwear currently has an advantage over competing countries such as China, Myanmar, India and Cambodia...

The world economy is forecasted to continue to prosper thanks to the Covid-19 vaccination strategy being implemented simultaneously around the world, and global trade in goods will recover quickly. The world's major economies, the US and the EU, reopened, and the consumer market recovered strongly. Consumer demand for key export products of Vietnam, including leather and footwear will increase again.

Source: MOIT

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