France's cosmetics exports go from strength to strength for the 1era 12 billion mark in 2016, up +2% on 2015.
The balance of trade surplus in the cosmetics sector stands at €9.2 billion, putting cosmetics in second place after the aeronautics sector.
"French cosmetics continue to expand internationally, combining the strengths of a high-quality image with those of innovation". says Patrick O'Quin, President of the Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté (FEBEA).
Growth in North America and Asia offsets European slowdown
Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy all remain in the top 5 of countries to which France exports the most, even if the amount of exports is tending to slow down in these 4 countries.
The slowdown in Europe was largely offset by sustained growth in North America. Exports are up to the United States (+8.5%), Canada (+4.5%) and Mexico (+4%).
The Asia zone as a whole grew by almost 10% in 2016, with increases to China (+15%), Singapore (+13%), South Korea (+18%) and Japan (+4%).
Indeed, while Asia had a more difficult year in 2015, 2016 saw a real recovery across the zone. Growth remains strong in China, despite regulations that are ill-suited to the market's constant innovations.
Asia now accounts for 17% of cosmetics exports.
Instability in other geographic zones
Exports to Latin America (-7.2%), non-EU European countries (-3.5%) and the Middle East (-5.9%), on the other hand, are down sharply.
European countries outside the European Union have been experiencing a decline in exports for several years. The rouble is an unstable currency, and this is having a major impact on our exports to Russia (-13%).
Declines in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia (-18%), United Arab Emirates (-5.8%)) are linked to rapidly changing and increasingly complex regulations, as well as to an economy in transition due to falling oil prices. The purchasing power of Emiratis and Saudis is falling, with major consequences for their consumption of luxury goods.
Exports to North Africa were down by 3.6%, with Egypt the main cause of this decline, with exports down by -27%, again due to the country's very difficult economic situation.
Drivers and new gas pedals of French exports
Skincare and fragrances account for ¾ of French cosmetics exports (43.4% for skincare and 31.3% for fragrances).
"High-end brands are still popular worldwide, and drugstore brands are accelerating their penetration". emphasizes Virginie d'Enfert, FEBEA Director of Economic, Environmental and International Affairs.
Finally, the French cosmetics industry is distinguished by new transformation characteristics which, in addition to product quality, may explain its success. An increased focus on well-being, innovative distribution methods, and investment in science and technology are changing the landscape.
" The sector's players are committed to creating personal and collective well-being, taking care of themselves and the environment. They are building new Internet distribution strategies and developing new physical outlets, such as their own boutiques. And companies are deploying the personalized, connected and technological cosmetics market, ushering in a new era. adds Patrick O'Quin, Chairman of the FEBEA.