Containerized footwear imports plunged in the second quarter of 2012, dropping nearly 18 percent to 90,000 TEUs, according to PIERS, a sister company of the JOC.
Footwear imports fell 5.4 percent in the first quarter, 6.6 percent in the 4th quarter of 2011 and .6 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2011, according to PIERS.
That is a reversal as footwear imports had grown for seven consecutive quarters from the 4th quarter of 2009 thorugh the 2nd quarter of 2011, according to PIERS.
China is overwhelmingly the largest exporter of footwear to the U.S., accounting for 70.6 percent of imported TEUs in the first half of 2012, but its share is falling.
China's share dropped from 73.2 percent in the first half of 2011, while Vietnam saw its share increase from 7.7 percent to 9.8 percent from the first half of 2011 to the first half of 2012.
Hong Kong's share dropped from 10.7 to 9.9 percent while Indonesia's share grew from 3.9 percent to 4.3 percent, according to PIERS. All other countries' share is below one percent.