Premium Beauty News - What is the situation of Brazilian cosmetics makers in the current economic context?
Joao Carlos Basilio Da Silva - Actually, ABIHPEC’s  sixth participation in Cosmoprof has been impacted by the economic crisis. We account fewer exhibitors than in 2008 since several Brazilian companies chose to focus their investments on the domestic market and the consolidation of their existing international business.
Because of its size and dynamism, the Brazilian cosmetic, toiletry and fragrance market, may be regarded as a good shelter during the international crisis. With an 8.6% share of the world market, according to Euromonitor, Brazil holds the third position in the 2008 ranking, losing only to the United States (15.6%) and Japan (10.1%).
Premium Beauty News - What are the main trends of the Brazilian market?
Joao Carlos Basilio Da Silva - In contrast to Europe, the Brazilian market is characterized by a preference for long hair. Consequently, the hair care market is the biggest segment in Brazil, and the one where Brazilian companies are the most innovative. According to Euromonitor, Brazil holds on fifth (20.6%) of the world’s conditioners market.
Premium Beauty News - What about the natural trend?
Joao Carlos Basilio Da Silva - Consumers worldwide are increasingly aware of the advantages of maximizing the amount of natural ingredients in cosmetic products. Brazilian consumers also are seeking more natural products. From this point of view, the Brazilian ecosystem and biodiversity is a huge asset for our industry. Indeed, this biodiversity is a fantastic tank of cosmetic actives. Among the 250,000 native botanical species that are known in Brazil, only 300 have been studied for their potential health and beauty properties.
Premium Beauty News - What are your main goals on international markets?
Joao Carlos Basilio Da Silva - In 2008, Brazilian exports of cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances grew by 20.5%, up to US$ 647.8 million. Brazilian companies exported to 140 countries in 2008, compared to 90 in 1998.
As far as Europe is concerned, Brazilian cosmetics makers have settled their strongest positions in Eastern Europe and in Portugal. Even if Brazil’s market-share is relatively small in Western Europe, there’s no obstacle for growth. Brazilian cosmetics products have a good image, they are well accepted by consumers and their price is attractive for importers and retailers.
In the last 10 years, Brazil has recorded a cumulative growth of 357.6% in exports, while imports have grown by 65.6%. Our trade balance turned positive in 2002. In 2008, the surplus totalled US$ 182 million, growing by 11% the previous year. But gaining more ground in the international market continues to be a challenge.
Our goal is to become part of the billion dollar exporters club within the next two or three years.
Premium Beauty News - Apart from the Amazonian biodiversity, what are the main assets of the Brazilian cosmetics industry?
Joao Carlos Basilio Da Silva - Creativity is certainly the most important asset. It helps the Brazilian industry to overcome the technical gap with European and Japanese producers. Brazilian companies have been able to create cosmetic products with an interesting cost-efficiency ratio.