for 60 percent of global output in the line, China
is the world's largest producer of casual footwear.
In 2003, the country exported 6 billion pairs, worth
US$13 billion. Its main export markets are North
America, the EU and Asia. The United States alone
absorbs US$5 billion worth of China-made footwear
China's casual footwear suppliers offer walking
and comfort shoes, sandals and clogs, and casual
boots. Walking and comfort shoes are the biggest
line, making up 42 percent of export production.
Sandals and clogs account for 32 percent and casual
boots 26 percent. Only around one-third of China
footwear suppliers produce boots.
Suppliers make uppers mostly from genuine
leather, PU, PVC, nylon mesh, microfiber and canvas.
Soles come in EVA, phylon, TPR, PU, PVC, Modal,
Texon, cork and rubber.
China's casual footwear export industry has been
growing steadily in recent years, and the trend will
easily continue. Suppliers are registering 15
percent to 30 percent annual export growth.
In a Global Sources Supplier Survey featured in
this report, almost all companies forecast increased
sales in 2005. The EU was listed as a market with
export growth potential by the majority of
respondents. Over the past two years, China makers
eager to increase orders from Europe have taken
steps to meet the EU's restrictions on azo dyes and
Production capacity in the industry is also
expanding. More than two-thirds of the 70 suppliers
in this report have launched plans to boost
production capacity by upgrading equipment,
increasing factory size or building new plants.
Mainly due to rising material costs, but partly
because of increased plant expenditure, nearly half
of the companies interviewed plan to hike product
prices in coming months to maintain profit margins.
But to keep an edge over competing countries such as
India, Vietnam and Indonesia, suppliers in China are
minimizing price increases while improving quality
and developing value-added designs.
R&D teams are focusing on improved comfort,
lighter weight and more features. The largest makers
have 100 R&D and design technicians and spend around
US$2 million on R&D work each year, launching 1,000
new designs annually. The Products section of this
report includes price guidelines for walking/comfort
shoes, sandals and clogs, and casual boots.
Moreover, the report features a 146- model Product
Gallery with details of popular export models.
OEM is the core business of the industry. China
suppliers produce casual footwear for such companies
as Wal-Mart, Nautica, Nike, Converse, Diadora and
Chiyoda. More and more, however, makers are
increasing their in-house design capability, and as
part of this are releasing in-house brands.
And more... To see the full Executive Summary