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French cosmetics sector exports 14.5 billion euros, confirming its role as world leader

In 2018, the excellence and innovation of the French cosmetics industry were reflected in exports that passed the 14.5 billion euro mark (+6.3% on 2017). The sector posted a positive trade balance of 11.2 billion euros, up nearly 6.6% on 2017. The sector maintains its place on the podium of French export champions after aeronautics and wines and spirits.
Once again, the value of exports exceeds the sector's sales on the French market.

EU, Asia and North America remain top-performing zones

  • In the European Union, export growth remains strong, with an increase of 4.5%. The biggest increases were in Spain (+8.5%) and Italy (+7.2%). The outcome of the Brexit negotiations is eagerly awaited by the sector, as the UK is the second EU country (after Germany) to which France exports the most (over 1 billion euros, with an increase of 3%).Outside the EU, Russia's increase was 17.8%.
    Although Europe is already a mature market, and French products already have a strong presence there, the attractiveness and safety of our products means that we can continue to increase our exports.
  • Exports to Asia continue to grow, with an increase of 16.6% in 2018 and growth in excess of 20% in China (+22.7%) and Singapore (+24%). More than 20% of French products now go to Asia, representing more than 2.6 billion euros.
  • North America posted a 6.8% increase in exports, with a 5.7% rise in exports to the United States. This country remains the second most important destination for our global exports. South and Central America remain stable.
  • In the Near and Middle East region, exports fell slightly by 2.1% (with Saudi Arabia down 6.2%), closely linked to changes in oil prices.
  • For the Africa zone, the situation is contrasted: West Africa is up with +16.8%, while Central and Southern Africa is down by 6.8%. North Africa was also down (-3.7%), mainly due to Algeria blocking imports.

"French cosmetics continue to play a leading role worldwide. Admired for its excellence, it is innovating more than ever to meet consumers' new demands for well-being: in the quality and safety of formulations, the personalization of products and environmental commitment" declares Patrick O'Quin, President of the French Federation of Beauty Companies (FEBEA).

Champion categories maintain their momentum

Skincare products and perfumes still account for 3⁄4 of French cosmetics exports: respectively 45% for skincare and 22% for perfumes.
Other champion categories included :

  • Make-up continues to gain momentum, with exports up (by 4.8% for lip make-up and 3.7% for eye make-up),
  • Hair preparations increased by 7.5% and shampoos by 5.8%.
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