Strong growth in sales of beauty products continues to see the Brazilian market powering away. In 2005 the market grew at 34.2 per cent to become the world's fourth largest market - well above the world's 8.2 per cent average growth.
Last year the country's beauty consumers spent a massive $13.8bn on cosmetic and toiletry products, according to Euromonitor International, reflecting a strong economy and significantly increased spending power amongst the country's 184 million population as well as a big increase in industry exports.
"We expect that, with an annual growth above 20 per cent, we'll be able to move up to 3rd position in 2007 or 2008", said João Carlos Basílio da Silva, president of ABIHPEC (Brazilian Association of the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Industry).
The jump means that the Brazil cosmetic and toiletry market is now behind that of the US and Japan, and if the growth continues, it should overtake the third-placed France market within the next two years.
The association said that the growth was attributed to tax reductions on products such as sun care products as well as the creation of new niches and the industries continued efforts to increase sales, both nationally and internationally.
It also means the country's cosmetic and toiletry industry has now leap-frogged the traditionally dominant markets of Germany and the UK, but with a population greater than these two countries combined, the potential for further increase should prove significant if economic growth can be sustained.
"Brazilian exports of personal care products, toiletries and cosmetics grew 23 per cent in 2005, which is about 15 per cent over the international average. These figures show that Brazil has been boosting its share of the world market year by year", said João Carlos Basilio da Silva, President of ABIHPEC.
On the domestic front, it seems that Brazil's fast-growing population is enjoying the fruits of the country's hard-earned economic recovery. ABIHPEC reports that there was a 9.3 per cent rise in volumes, whereas the value of sales rose by 14.5 per cent. Sales growth is expected to ebb off in 2006, settling to a more modest 10 per cent.
But it is the export market that has seen the real growth. ABIHPEC reports that the sector's growth registered 120.7 per cent in the last five years, reaching $407.6m.
In recent years the Brazilian cosmetics industry has been working hard to promote itself overseas. This has been attributed to work put in by ABIHPEC and the Brazilian trade and export board APEX, which has helped to fund and organize the participation of many leading Brazilian cosmetics players in global trade events.
Likewise the appreciation of the Brazilian real against the dollar also helped imports to grow by 34.8 per cent to reach $211.3m in 2005, with many international brands taking the opportunity to expand their presence on the market.
On the production front expansion is expected to continue apace, with leading manufacturers forecast to make continued investment of $100m per year to expand plant facilities.