This is what emerged from the sample survey conducted by the Research Centre of Confindustria Moda for Assocalzaturifici on the first nine months of 2018. Months in which national production experienced a further drop of -2.4% in its volumes, while -5% was registered in the third quarter alone.
From January to August 2018, ISTAT export data once again pointed towards an economic picture of lights and shadows: from one end, quantities dropped to 143.6 million pairs, for a -3.1% downtrend, from the other end, values rose to a total of 6.5 billion euros, a brand new record that is reflected in the foreign trade balance that is still extremely positive, although slightly down: 2.9 billion euros.
The main destination for Italian exports remains the EU (which receives 7 out of 10 exported pairs), with a +2.7% overall rise in value, but with a variable trend in different markets: in Germany, the first destination for quantity, the numbers held steady (+0.2%), with values increasing by +2.4%. Instead, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and UK all experienced negative performances (-8.7%, -9.8%, -13.9% and -1.1% in quantity respectively).
More satisfying were non-EU sales figures, which recorded +4.7% in value and +3.6% in quantity. Among the markets with the best performances were Switzerland (+15%) and China (+20%): the first is confirmed as the preferred commercial hub of Italian brands, while the second, together with South Korea (+11%), compensated for the negative performances of Hong Kong and Japan (respectively -7% and -3.9%) in the Asian market. North America also pulled through with goods results, with the USA at +4.5% in volumes, while Canada took a huge leap forward with a rise by +23.4%, thanks to the CETA agreement.
Instead, the Russian market remains extremely problematic, with a continuing negative trend that arrives at -11.3% in volumes: “Unfortunately, the levels are still 50% inferior in value when compared to the same pre-crisis period in 2013 – declares Annarita Pilotti, President of Assocalzaturifici – This explains the great difficulties that companies oriented towards this market, and more in general, towards the CIS area, must continue to face”.
Other areas characterized by a negative trend include the Middle East (-7.6%), with the United Arab Emirates at -1.5% and Saudi Arabia at -14.7%.
And Italy? The domestic market is still stagnant, with 0.8% in quantity and -0.9% in value. Only one segment drives sales, that of sneakers, which – among other things – will have an ad hoc projected dedicated to it at the next edition of Micam (10-13 February): PLUG.MI.
The current economic scenario inevitably ends up impacting companies (-2.5%) and those employed in the sector (-314 fewer jobs since the beginning of the year).