Meeting in Rimini for their annual convention, about 100 Italian shoemakers were told by their trade association, Anci, that they connot expect a recovery in the market until at least next March, despite a recent temporary increase in their orders that has already finished.

Italy’s trade surplus in the shoe sector shrank to €1.635 billion in the seven months to last July from €2.425 billion a year earlier as exports dropped by 16.6 percent to €3.659 billion and imports rose by 3.2 percent to €2.024 billion.

Imports were lifted by a higher average value per pair, up by 20.0 percent to €9.85, due in part to the anti-dumping duties on leather shoes from China and Vietnam. The average price of Chinese shoes rose by 32.0 percent to €4.56 per pair, while the cost of footwear from Vietnam increased by 22.9 percent to €10.16 a pair.

By volume, China was the largest exporter of shoes to Italy with a total of 98.1 million pairs, down by 23.0 percent, followed by Vietnam with 13.0 million pairs, declining by 23.6 percent. In value, Chinese exports to Italy amounted to €447.4 million, up 1.6 percent, and Vietnamese exports €132.6 million, down by 6.1 percent.

In value, Italian exports were down in all main markets. The sharpest declines were in Russia, down by 28.2 percent to €250.0 million, the U.S., 26.8 percent lower to €310.9 million, and Spain, down by 20.1 percent to €174.0 million. France and Germany were Italy’s main export destinations. Sales to France fell by 5.5 percent to 578.2 million and those to Germany were down by 16.2 percent to €477.1 million.