Even with this prediction, the sector is expected to have ended the year with production 8.4% lower than 2019, according to Chief Executive Haroldo Ferreira.

He said: “Last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we registered a drop of more than 18%, returning compared with production levels of more than a decade ago. As of 2021, with the advance of vaccinations, the reopening of physical trade and the resumption of international demand, we started to have a recovery.”

Abicalçados expects recovery to continue in 2022, predicting production growth of 3%, leaving the sector still 6% below pre-pandemic levels. Exports are forecast to have an increase of more than 5% in volume, with a result 7.5% higher than in 2019.