Containers of footwear imported through U.S. ports continued to show declines in year-over-year comparisons in the fourth quarter of 2012. Imports slid 4.6 percent to 95,962 20-foot-equivalent units from 100,636 TEUs in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Imports have been falling year-over-year since the third quarter of 2011. Footwear imports steeply dropped by 20 percent in the third quarter of 2012, 17.8 percent in the second quarter, and 5.3 percent in the first quarter, according to data from PIERS, a JOC sister company. Import volume in the fourth quarter was also down 7.7 percent from the prior quarter.
The footwear import volume for the full year of 2012 was 393,531 TEUs, down 12.5 percent or 56,160 TEUs from 449,692 TEUs in 2011.
Mainland China, not including Hong Kong, continued to lose some of its share in this market, although it is still the most dominant source country, by far. In 2012 it had a 70.8 percent share of imports, down 2.8 percentage points year-over-year. Other top countries of origin for U.S. footwear imports in 2012 were Vietnam, with 9.8 percent, up 2.1 percentage points; Hong Kong, 9.7 percent, down 1.1 percentage points; and Indonesia, 4.2 percent, up 0.7 percentage points.
Footwear import volume from Brazil saw a 56 percent jump in 2012. Volume rose from 2,391 TEUs in 2011 to 3,731 in 2012. This pushed Brazilabove India to become the fifth largest source country of footwear to the U.S. in 2012. Hong Kong, on the other hand, lost its second place spot when they dropped 22 percent in the volume of imports to the U.S. in 2012, moving them down to the third place spot.