Footwear products are made at a plant of Đông Hưng Footwear Group in Bình Duong Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Quách Lắm
HÀ NỘI — Footwear exports to the US have been forecast to struggle in the remaining months of this year due to falling demand, though it recorded a 10 per cent increase in revenue in the first quarter of the year.
Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America President Matt Priest was quoted by Công Thương (Industry and Trade) online newspaper as saying that the COVID-19 pandemic caused unemployment in the US to rise and income to fall, hurting consumption.
Demand for footwear products in the US saw declines in January-May and the downward trend was forecast to continue for the remaining months of this year, he said.
He cited statistics that footwear sales in the US dropped by nearly 30 per cent in March against the same period last year while footwear imports fell to the lowest level since March, 2017. Việt Nam’s footwear exports to the US decreased by nearly 20 per cent in April.
He forecast it would be difficult to see a significant increase in Việt Nam’s footwear exports to the US in the rest of this year. However, a decrease would not be likely.
Still, there were opportunities for Vietnamese footwear producers to expand exports in the US.
From 2003 to date, he said that while the US’s footwear imports from other countries saw downward trends, imports from Việt Nam increased.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the global supply chain was being rebuilt with a trend of moving out of China. Figures showed China accounted for 90 per cent of the US’ footwear market 12 years ago but now its market share was reduced to 7 per cent and importers tended to look for more supply sources from Việt Nam.
Diệp Thành Kiệt, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association, said that it was a difficult time for Việt Nam’s footwear exports to the US due to low demand.
The US market also has high requirements about corporate social responsibility and environmental protection in footwear production, Kiệt said, urging producers to pay attention to these requirements to expand exports to the US.
Kiệt also said that producers must focus on designs and quality to satisfy consumers’ tastes.
Despite the pandemic, Việt Nam’s footwear exports to the US rose 10 per cent to reach US$1.56 billion in revenue in the first quarter of this year.
The US was the largest footwear export market of Việt Nam with revenue of $6.65 billion in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 14.2 per cent.
Việt Nam exported $18.3 billion worth of footwear products in total last year, up 12.8 per cent against 2018. Made-in-Việt Nam footwear products were present in more than 100 countries worldwide.
The country hopes to earn $20 billion from footwear exports this year. — VNS