FDRA has launched its annual Global Footwear Factory Survey. We need your helping in getting as many responses as possible to our factory survey so we can all have the best possible data and insights. Please send an email to all your factories asking them to complete this survey by May 26th. Here is the survey link you can forward: http://www.questionpro.com/t/AIIDFZYqB0 

FDRA has also recently launched registration for its Global Footwear Production and Trade Summit in Shenzhen, China June 22. Please encourage your factories in China, as well as you sourcing teams in Asia, to register and attend the June 22 Production Summit. Here is the link you can forward with event information, agenda, and registration:
Footwear Import Data (Total Volume and Price) 

U.S. footwear imports rebounded impressively in March, expanding in volume and value terms. The volume of shipments reaching US shores in this latest month rose a year-over-year 13.1%, owing to big gains from America's two largest foreign suppliers.  This rebound confirms our earlier view that the February tumble was unlikely to persist in coming months.  Imports from largest-origins China (+17.9%) and Vietnam (up 14.5%) climbed sharply, while shipments from the rest of the world were off -7.2%. 

In fact, the  Chart of the Month above shows that shipments excluding these two suppliers fell year-over-year at the fastest rate in six years. These diverging trends imply Chinese and Vietnamese footwear accounted for a larger share of total US footwear imports, with a gradually smaller share left for the rest of the world.
Please note: you will have to log into the FDRA system; then any link you click on in this newsletter will automatically come up for you. 
Click here to register for a user name and password  

Don't Miss It! Foo twear S ourcing Summit 

FDRA's Sourcing Summit is a one day event on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The event covers footwear product development, manufacturing, and factory compliance issues featuring presentations from industry leaders. We also invite everyone to join us the evening prior on July 24th from 5:30-7pm for a cocktail and networking reception in Manhattan.
Challenges and Opportunities for Footwear Producers

The rapid pace of urbanization and the constantly-changing
consumer preferences are affecting footwear markets. Companies in this sector should be prepared to face these challenges.

Rapid Pace of Urbanization
Urbanization is a global phenomenon and one of the main drivers increasing
demand for consumer goods, especially footwear. According to Professor Alberto Castro, from the Catholic University of Portugal and to the study Footwear Consumer 2030 ( available here), it's expected that global urbanization will rise from 51.1% to 60% by 2030. And this is a phenomenon occurring on a much larger scale in developing countries, if compared to developed ones.

How can this affect footwear?

Demand for shoes and other related products will continue to increase in the majority of international markets. Nonetheless, producers should pay special attention to developing countries, where a larger increase in demand is expected. Countries that aren't currently attractive markets for footwear may become so, in a short period of time.  
Cotton Prices Continue to Rise!       

A current issue that catches our attention this month:  Cotton prices.
After plumbing a six-year low in March 2016, nearby ICE cotton futures have been on a tear, climbing eleven of the last fourteen months, rising 54% to a 34-month high earlier this week.

In particular, the market recently surged eleven cents in just three sessions, an event unheard of in more than five years of trading.  This ascent has been far steeper and longer than in any other commodity impacting the footwear supply chain. 
The gradual rise has been due in part to expectations of a gradually tighter US cotton market in 2016/17 that we have cautioned about for months.  
FDRA EU Footwear Import Update
Footwear imports
entering the European Union sank year-over-year in volume and value terms, hinting that full-year shipments may see little to no growth this year.
Imports tallying just 241,368 metric tons in this latest month tumbled -15.3% from a year earlier, the biggest drop in fifteen months.  Thirteen of the region's fourteen largest suppliers shipped fewer shoes to Europe in this latest month, reflecting the broad-based demand-side nature of the decline.  

This retrenchment confirms our caution in March that imports were growing too fast and due to moderate.  Similarly, at €4.7 billion, the value of those imports shrank a year-over-year -3.9%, only the fourth decline in three and a half years.

With the value of imports sinking less than did the volume of shipments, the Chart of the Month shown above indicates the average landed cost of EU footwear imports rose again in February, reaching a record €19.74 per kilogram.
Footwear Production & Compliance Events

Mark your calendars and register for these upcoming events!

A one day look at footwear production challenges and solutions featuring top factory groups and sourcing executives. Focused on helping factory owners and managers, sourcing executives and agents understand the current sourcing environment in China and Vietnam. Last year 150 attendees got actionable intelligence - do not miss out! If you are a U.S. sourcing executive be sure to plan a trip to visit your factories around this summit. Registration open now!    

THE networking event for sourcing executives and professionals! Last year this one day summit explored new innovations to production, sourcing shifts, and key insights from sourcing execs from Caleres, Steve Madden, Fila, and Under Armour to name just a few. Do not miss out on key insights and networking!
Sponsored by
Port of Long Beach