After a decade of deficit, Brazil posted a trade surplus of USD 23.4 million in 2020 in the sector of personal hygiene, perfumery and cosmetics (HPPC). According to data from the Ministry of the Economy, this positive balance results from a rise in exports by 1.9% compared to the previous year, thus reaching 609.3 million US dollars. Brazilian cosmetics and personal care products are exported to 174 countries.

Given the fall in the value of the Brazilian currency with respect to the US Dollar and the pandemic - which seems to affect imports harder than exports - Brazil only imported USD 585.9 million of cosmetics and personal care products in 2020, a decrease of 16.8% compared to 2019.

Large surplus in December

As of December 2020, the trade balance of the Brazilian HPPC sector showed a surplus of USD 10.0 million. During the same period, exports totalled USD 54.6 million, an increase of 4.7% from the same month a year earlier. Imports, on the other hand, totalled USD 44.6 million, down 2.6% from 2019.

As in the previous months, the top-exported items in December 2020 were: soaps (USD 12.8 million), hair care products (USD 9.7 million) and deodorants (USD 6.5 million). Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay are the main destinations for Brazilian cosmetic exports.

Skin care products, sunscreens and sun lotions (USD 8.5 million), oral hygiene products (USD 7.9 million) and perfumes (USD 3.8 million), topped the list of personal care imports in December.

Exceptional circumstances

However, according to the Brazilian Association of the Personal Hygiene, Perfume and Cosmetics Industry (ABIHPEC), this surplus in the trade balance in 2020 is the consequence of a set of economic conditions and exceptional circumstances, but "this trend will not be confirmed in the years to come".