After the unusual decline in value that they suffered in 2016, Spain's footwear exports dropped by only 1.02 percent to €834 million. Like last year, they carried lower average prices than before, as the total volume went up by 3.4 percent to 48 million pairs during the period.

Average export prices were down by 4.29 percent to €17.41 per pair because of a drop of 3.43 percent to 15.4 million pairs in the volume of leather shoes sent out of the country. It was led by a decline of 6.39 percent to 9.5 million pairs for women's leather shoes, whose total value fell by 11.36 percent to €311.0 million.

On top of that, the average export price of Spain's leather shoe exports declined by 3.11 percent to €30.41 per pair, resulting in an overall fall of 6.43 percent to €469.6 million in their total value. However, the average price charged for children's leather shoes rose by 9.67 percent to €20.15, leading to a 13.87 percent export increase to €53.0 million in this segement. Sales of men's leather shoes abroad were more or less flat in units and pricing.

By contrast, exports of non-leather shoes went up by 7.02 percent in volume and by 6.94 percent in value, driven by a 14.05 percent increase to €150.3 million in the value of rubber and plastic shoes, which reached a volume of 15.5 million pairs.

The country's total shoe exports to other member countries of the European Union declined by 3.8 percent in value to €624.6 million, coupled with a 3.5 percent in volume to 37.8 million pairs. The main factors of the drop in value were declines of 12.3 percent in France, which remained the biggest destination for Spanish footwear, and 16.5 percent in the U.K., due to the post-Brexit devaluation of the pound. In terms of volume, deliveries to the two countries declined by 1.5 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively. Conversely, significant increases in value were registered in Italy, up by 10 percent, and in Greece, up by 24 percent.

Exports to the rest of the world rose by 8.6 percent to €209.7 million in value, showing the benefits of a Spanish program for the diversification of export markets. The most significant increases in value were jumps of 22.2 percent in the U.S. and 46 percent in Russia. Export sales went up by 4 percent in China but declined by one percent in Japan, where the favorable evolution of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU should help open up the market.

Spain's tiny trade surplus in footwear improved slightly as imports declined by 7.52 percent in volume and by 1.90 percent in value during the quarter, down to 87 million pairs worth €813 million. In terms of volume, imports from Cambodia jumped by 163.5 percent to more than one million pairs. An even bigger increase of 775.2 percent was registered from Myanmar, which remained at the bottom of the sourcing list with just 88,039 pairs.

Volumes went down by 12.13 percent from China and by 5.32 percent from Vietnam, but imports from the Netherlands increased by 20.13 percent, taking third place with a volume of 3.09 million pairs. Imports from Italy rose by 6.11 percent in value and by 0.99 percent in volume.

A total of 44 Spanish firms with 75 brands will participate in the Expo Riva Schuh show starting tomorrow through Fice, the Spanish shoe industry association.