The volume of shoe production in France decreased by 14 percent in 2008 while the France’s shoe industry tunrover fell by 13 percent, according to the French Shoe Federation.

This was blamed on the increasing internationalization of the production apparatus and the shutdown of some firms. The French shoe industry produced an estimated 31 million pairs of shoes and generated a turnover of €960 million.

The French shoe market was estimated at €8.44 billion in 2008, down by 1.5 percent overall. More specific details about the different product categories should become available shortly.

Including products manufactured outside the country, the exports of French shoe companies grew last year by 2 percent to €1.37 billion as the average price went up slightly. In terms of volume, they fell by 2 percent to 64.1 million pairs.

Italy was the No. 1 export country for French footwear, with exports of €201.1 million up by 7 percent from 2007. Exports to Spain decreased by 5 percent to €170.3 million. Sales to Germany climbed by 1 percent to €143.1 million. Sales to Belgium rose by 3 percent to €142.5 million.

In 2008, France imported 409 million pairs worth €3.9 billion, a decrease of 8 percent in volume and 3 percent in value. The number of imported pairs from each of the five leading countries was down.

China exported 227.1 million pairs to France, down by 5 percent. Italy exported 31.5 million pairs, down 17 percent, but the value of €891.8 million remained unchanged from 2007. Vietnam shipped 40.9 million pairs, down by 8 percent.. Portugal exported 15.6 million pairs, down by 9 percent, and Spain sold 15.9 million pairs in France, down by 18 percent.