Gueisa Silvério, responsible for international trade, ABIHPEC

Brazil Beauty News - Created over 20 years ago, the Beautycare Brazil project supports Brazilian companies to develop their business on foreign markets. How has the program worked in the current context, without international fairs and events?

Gueisa Silvério - Beautycare Brazil aims to promote the growth of exports of Brazilian products and services all along the value chain of the personal hygiene, perfume and cosmetics industry. This work encompasses the selection of key markets and the participation of the companies involved in the project in major international fairs.

Due to the pandemic, face-to-face events have been suspended worldwide and Beautycare Brazil had to adapt to the new scenario. We have been focusing on online activities, with content developed with specialists from ABIHPEC and international market research firms. This enabled us to present up-to-date information on consumer behaviors and trends in countries such as South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

In the first half of 2020, we created a working group with members of the program to review our communication strategy and strengthen the image of the Brazilian industry abroad.

For 2021, we seek to carry out actions in partnership with Apex-Brasil international offices, as well as with the trade services within Brazilian embassies and consulates. We have also broadened our initiatives to address other topics that may be of interest to member companies of the sector project.

Brazil Beauty News - It’s a paradox, but the Brazilian beauty sector performed well in 2020, with exports rising and a first trade surplus after a decade of deficit. How do you explain it?

Gueisa Silverio - We do not see this as a paradox if we consider both the good performance of our industry on its domestic market and the results of the trade balance.

Remember that Brazil is the 4th world market for personal hygiene and beauty products and the 3rd country for the number of product launches. We closed 2020 with sales up 5.8% (ex-factory price), compared to the previous year. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Brazilian cosmetics industry has shown solidity and agility.

Concretely, the sector recorded a positive trade balance of 23.4 million dollars in 2020. The rise of the dollar compared to the Brazilian currency and the reduction in imports linked to the quarantine imposed by the coronavirus led to an estimated reduction in imports of USD 585.9 million for the year, a drop of 16.8% from 2019.

However, we must also take into account the increased interest of Brazilians in domestic products, which are always more innovative and of better quality and therefore increasingly able to replace imported goods and gain shares on export markets. Brazilian perfumes, whose sales grew 8.4% in 2020, are a good example.

When we look at the performance of the Beautycare Brazil project, we see a 26% growth, notably thanks to ingredient manufacturers, who have won over major customers and gained market share internationally.

Brazil Beauty News - What are the main strengths of the Brazilian cosmetics industry on international markets?

Gueisa Silvério - Brazilian cosmetics are recognized worldwide for their innovative features in several categories, the use of ingredients from our biodiversity is a real differentiating asset to attract new customers and increase our international competitiveness.

It should also be noted that the great diversity of the Brazilian population also stimulates the R&D of our companies and, consequently, the variety of their product offer, in particular for hair care.

Brazil Beauty News - Brazilian brands are strong and are developing in Latin America. How is your performance in other parts of the world?

Gueisa Silvério - Latin American countries are among the top 15 destinations for Brazilian cosmetic exports, accounting for 79.3% of the total. Argentina leads, followed by Chile and Mexico.

It is important to stress that a large part of our exports are made by multinational companies located in Brazil, or by national actors who operate independently, without the support of the project.

Things are different among the members of Beautycare Brazil. The project concerns the entire value chain. As a result, Latin America only represents 37% of our exported volumes.

In total our members export to 118 countries, with Argentina, the United States, Colombia, Chile, Malaysia and Egypt in the leading pack.