Brazil’s 37th International Shoe, Fashion Accessories, Machinery, and Components Fair (Francal), inaugurated yesterday, July 19, in São Paulo in the presence of the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, is considered the kickoff of the sales season in the leather and footwear sector.
The fair, which runs through Friday, July 22, in the Anhembi Exposition Center, is closed to the general public.
Approximately one thousand exhibitors, representing manufacturers of shoes, purses, suitcases and knapsacks, fashion accessories, machinery, equipment, and components, will be displaying their wares to an expected 3 thousand international buyers from over 100 countries and 60 thousand Brazilian professionals. Brazil is the world’s third largest footwear producer.
The Francal is a hotbed of business transactions in the leather and footwear sector for the spring-summer season.
According to estimates made by the organizers of the fair, the deals germinated during the four days of the fair correspond to 3-4 months of production and 9 months of sales for the participating companies.
Brazil’s industrial park in this sector has 7.5 thousand industries, which employ 300 thousand people directly and produce 775 million pairs of shoes annually.
Footwear is the third most important industrialized item in Brazil’s export portfolio.
According to the Brazilian Footwear Industry Association (Abicalçados), the country exports around 212 million pairs of shoes annually to over 100 countries.
50% of this volume is consumed by the United States. Foreign sales totaled US$ 1.809 billion in 2004.
The goal is to reach US$ 2 billion in 2005 and enlarge Brazil’s export base by 6% with the help of the Export and Investments Promotion Agency (APEX-Brasil), which is responsible for the international insertion project known as Brazilian Footwear.
The project provides for a yearlong sales campaign in 2005 costing US$ 10.7 million (25.5 million reais) in government and private funds.
Footwear exports, however, is one of the sectors in which the appreciation of the real vis-í -vis the dollar has harmed sales.
In the first half of the year, the overall volume of footwear shipped abroad was down 9% in comparison with the same period last year (103 million pairs, versus 113 million in 2004), according to the Abicalçados.
On the other hand, export earnings remain strong, due to the increase in the aggregated value of Brazilian products. Price readjustments are possible in this segment, for which the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Italy, Chile, and the Netherlands also constitute important markets.
With an average increase of 20% in the price of shoes, which are sold for US$ 8.94 a pair, footwear exports generated revenues of US$ 921.4 million between January and June of this year, 9% more than during the first half of 2004.
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br