Experts interviewed by the organizers of InterCHARM Moscow, the largest trade show dedicated to the beauty industry in Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe, estimate that sales of cosmetic and perfumed products in Russia have kept the same pace in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

Strong growth rates

As far as Professional Hair Products are concerned, the Russian market has been constantly growing over the last few years, and with this growth all problems and issues related to mature markets naturally followed,” said Barex Italiana’s Carlo Baiesi. “Nevertheless the cultural attitude towards cosmetics, the curiosity for novelties and the openness to new techniques and products still make Russia a market where investments and efforts are well rewarded.

According to RBC research, in 2013, the Russian cosmetics and perfumery market grew by 11% and approached USD 15 billion (EUR 11,1 billion). Figures provided by Rosstat, the Russian Federation’s State Statistics Service draw a similar picture: sales of perfumery and cosmetic goods would have grown by 14.1% in 2013 versus 13.2% in 2012.

Such outcomes are really impressive particularly when compared with the European market where sales of cosmetic products showed a 0.8% drop in 2014. Figures in some individual EU member states are even worse: the Spanish and Greek markets declined by 3.6%, the Italian market by 1.2% and France by 0.4%, while Germany, the biggest market within the EU, has demonstrated a modest upturn of 0.6%.

Imported products

In the context, exports have become the main growth driver for cosmetics makers in the EU. The importance of the Russian market has progressed accordingly. Russia accounted for 3.4% of the global cosmetics and perfumery market in 2013, reported AT Kearney.

Imported personal care products accounts for over than half of the Russian market and in the luxury segment imported cosmetics and perfumes represent between 70 per cent and 100 per cent of the market. The main importers of perfumery and cosmetics goods in Russia are France, with a market share of 24.4%, Germany (11%), Poland (6.9%), Italy (6.8%) and the USA (6,2%). The Chinese share in the overall import volume reached 2.6% in 2013.

France remains the leader in the perfumery segment with 58.8% of the products imported in Russia in value terms. In 2013, the volume of imported perfumes rose by 23.3% versus 2012 to USD 293.3 million (EUR 216.2). Great Britain holds the second place with 8.7% share in 2013 (USD 43.5 million). The volume of fragrances imported from this country increased by 24.3% in 2013. Italy holds the third place with a market share of 7.6% (USD 38 million). Last year, Russian perfumery imports from Italy were 51.4% higher as compared to 2012. Spain ranks fourth with USD 28.1 million and a 5.6% market share. In value terms, imports of perfumery products from Spain rose by 23.4%. The United States have pushed up their perfumery supplies by 89% reaching the fifth place. Their share in total volume of perfumery import reached to 5.4% to USD 26.9 million (EUR 19,9 million).

As regards the imports of colour cosmetics, the leaders are France, Poland and the United State.

In terms of popularity, eye make-up retained the first position in 2013, i.e. 14.6 % of the volume of imports of cosmetics or USD 128 million (EUR 94.7 million). 21.8% were imported from Italy, 18.2 % from France and 13.5 % from Poland and 11.7 % from Germany.

Lip make-up follows with 10.1% (USD 88.2 million); the leaders in this category were France (30.2%), Poland (15.8%), Germany (12.9%) and Italy (12.1%).

As far as nail care is concerned, imports grew by 6.2% in 2013 to USD 54.7 million (EUR 40,5 million). The leaders: the United States (18.5%), France (18.0 %) and Turkey (17.0%).

Eventually, imports of hair care products, one of the key segments of the Russian perfumery and cosmetics market, grew by 7.4 % to reach USD 354.1 million (EUR 262 million) in 2013. The undisputed leader among the exporters of hair spray is Germany with a 64.4% market share, enjoying a leading position in the segment of hair care with 26.3 % of imports in terms of value. The second and third places belong to Italy (14%) and France (9.7%).

Despite that Russian producers pose a serious competition to their Western counterparts in terms of shampoos; the share of imports is still high (37%), leaders being Romania (42.3%), France (13.7%) and Italy (8.8%).

Beauty is beyond politics,” commented Ruslan Abdrakhmanov, Marketing Communications Manager at InterCHARM Moscow. “Sales of cosmetics and perfumes in Russia are driven by the country’s economic development. Russia features 15 cities with a million-plus population and 145 million people in total. The retail industry grew by 23% in 2013,” he concluded.

How to register cosmetic products in Russia?

The handbook Safety of perfumes and cosmetics. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia provides an English translation of the technical regulation CU TR 009/2011 of the Customs Union and includes comments from audit and consultancy firm CCIS-Expertise. More information here.