Footwear Imports Point To Rebound

WASHINGTON — The latest round of import numbers signal a continuing rebound in the footwear market. 

According to March reports released last week, Chinese footwear imports grew 6.1 percent, to 164.3 million pairs during the month, compared with a year earlier. The imports were valued at $1 billion, according to data from the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel.

The next largest footwear supplier, Vietnam, shipped 9.3 million pairs, down 4.4 percent from the prior year. Imports from Vietnam were valued at $98.5 million. Brazil shipped 4.2 million pairs, down 12.6 percent, and valued at $35.1 million. Indonesia increased its footwear imports 11.2 percent to 4 million pairs valued at $43.5 million. Italy increased imports 8.7 percent to 1.5 million pairs, valued at $63.8 million.

Rounding out the top 10 suppliers were Mexico, with an 84.6 percent increase to 1.3 million pairs valued at $22.8 million; India up 12.1 percent to 996,821 pairs, valued at $13.8 million; Thailand, which posted a 19.7 percent decline to 863,083 with shoes worth $9.9 million; Hong Kong, with a 65.8 percent increase to 580,637 pairs valued at $3.7 million; and Taiwan, which posted a decline of 11.8 percent to 560,471 pairs valued at $4.7 million. 

In all, 189.9 million pairs of shoes, valued at $1.4 billion, were shipped to the U.S. from all countries in March, a 5.4 percent increase compared with March 2009.

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