PARIS — The French cosmetics industry in 2022 registered record export growth, with gains of 18.8 percent on-year, bolstered especially by the fragrance and the makeup and facial care categories.
French cosmetics sales abroad generated 19.2 billion euros in the 12-month period.
“This performance reinforced France in its position as the world’s cosmetics leader,” France’s beauty association, the Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté, or FEBEA, said in a statement.
Last year, with a balance of 15.6 billion euros, cosmetics was the third largest contributor to France’s positive foreign trade balance, behind aeronautics, with 23 billion euros, and wines and spirits, with 16 billion euros.
The European Union, ringing up almost 37 percent of French cosmetics sales, remained the country’s first export destination. Germany was the top market in the region, with sales of 1.9 billion euros, a 21 percent increase against 2021.
In the EU, sales grew 24.2 percent on-year, thanks largely to the explosion of perfume sales, up 33 percent versus 2021.
The U.S. and China ranked second and third, respectively, for French cosmetics sold abroad.
China had ranked first among non EU-zone export markets for French cosmetics in 2020 and 2021.
Last year, cosmetics exports to the U.S. totaled 2.3 billion euros, a 28 percent increase against 2021, representing a 48.2 percent gain between 2019 and 2022.
“Today, one in five perfumery products is exported to the U.S.,” said FEBEA, which specified that 95.2 percent of French cosmetics products sold there belonged to the fragrance and the makeup and face categories.
FEBEA also noted a strong rise in exports to the Middle East.
By product category, French perfumes’ top export market was the U.S., followed by Germany, Spain, the U.K. and United Arab Emirates.
For French lipsticks, China was the largest export market, then Singapore, the U.S., Germany and South Korea, according to FEBEA.