International trade on the rise for Turkey’s personal care and cosmetics industry

Building on steady growth in 2016, the market of personal care and cosmetics products in Turkey increased its international trade across the board in 2017.

Growth was seen in almost every sub-sector of the market between January-November 2017, while exports rose a modest 1.8% year-on-year to reach $1.4bn, imports rose 3.8% to reach $923 million. These are particularly positive results for international suppliers aiming to increase their share of this promising market.

On the ground, retailers benefited from new shopping centres, rising incomes and urbanisation in the country, as well as the rise of innovative sales and marketing techniques such as subscription packages, social media influencers, in-store experiences, e-commerce, etc.

Product category breakdown

In terms of imports, Turkey’s most popular product group was make-up. A vast amount – to the tune of $274 million – was imported into the country in 2017, according to Turkstat. This is a significant rise of 12.3% compared to 2016. The most popular products were creams, emulsions, and oils, followed by eye make-up, and lipsticks. As disposable incomes rise, so too does the demand for well-known international make-up brands, leading to a trade deficit of $118 million for make-up products.

The second largest product category imported to Turkey in 2017 was shampoo and hair products. These totalled $176 million – a 13.8% rise. Exports of shampoo and hair products rose by 7% and reached $142 million.

This was followed by baby products such as diapers and other hygiene products. This large sub-sector – with imports of $85 million and exports of $577 million – saw a slight contraction last year.

Impressive growth, however, was seen in the wet wipes, liquid soap, and shower gel category. A total of $61 million of these products were imported last year, a huge 38% increase. While domestic manufacturers occupy a huge market share for this sub-sector, international suppliers are gaining a hold. Exports increased 2.8% to reach $288 million.

The perfumes and colognes category also showed slight growth of 4.8% in terms of import and export.

Where are imports coming from?

Turkey’s top 10 trade partners for personal care and cosmetics products are France, China, Italy, South Korea, Greece, India, the UAE, Bulgaria, Taiwan, and Pakistan. Many of these key trade partners significantly increased their exports to the market from January-November 2017 compared with the same period in 2016: Greece (73%), South Korea (40%), UAE (26%), France (22%), and Italy (18%).