Exports of toys and children’s goods grew 48.8% thanks to the support of ApexBrasil and reached the highest turnover in a decade

Brasília – Toys and articles for babies and children do not only attract the attention of the little ones. The sector’s exports have been growing for a decade, attracting entrepreneurs with great innovative ideas and investors looking to expand their spectrum of companies with potential in the international market.

By September 2022, Comex Stat data had collected $27.8 million worth of exports of toys, strollers, games and sports equipment. Compared to the same period in 2021, there was an increase of US$9.11 million, a 48.8% increase in the sector’s export earnings. It was the highest revenue since 2011, grossing $24.8 million during the year.

The volume also grew strongly. In 2022, 4.32 thousand tons were exported, a variation of 54.6% compared to the same period last year. It is the largest volume ever exported in the period analysed, breaking the 2021 record of 2.79 thousand tons. Based on the data, it is possible to establish that children’s products have proved to be an important sector of the Brazilian economy, and through the Export Qualification Program (PEIEX), offered by the Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments (ApexBrasil), companies receive the necessary support to start exporting and become competitive in foreign trade.

This is the case at Mercotoys, from Pomerode, Santa Catarina, which has been manufacturing plastic toys with educational features since 1994, mixing shapes, colors and movement. The manufacturing differential, which enjoys high product turnover throughout the year, positions the company as one of the leaders in its field. It participated in PEIEX in 2018, in the Itajaí operations center and has since exported various products from all its lines to Latin American countries.

According to purchasing manager Michel Lauriola, the program helped them more accurately determine dollar sales prices, prospect markets and develop promotional materials aimed at target markets. According to him, the company has increased its exports over the past two years thanks to the knowledge gained during the PEIEX phases, in addition to the business roundtables promoted by ApexBrasil.

The catalog features all kinds of merchandise ranging from dolls prams, walkers and handles to toys for the beach, playful and educational with blocks of shapes, numbers and letters. Mercotoys is a member of the Brazilian Association of Toy Manufacturers (Abrinq) and has also attended foreign trade courses at SEBRAE. Already well established in Latin America, the company now aims to expand its market and focuses on North American and European countries.

Like Mercotoys, Pedra e Cor is one of the companies recently qualified by PEIEX to start exporting. Linked to M3 Indústrias, the company originally from Rio Grande do Sul and with factories in Santa Catarina, has been on the market for 20 years, producing decorative stones and sand. With national recognition for products that provide a sensory experience to customers, Pedra e Cor will start exporting a new product aimed at children: sand paint, called “Decoreco”.

After the end of the program’s last cycle in 2021, the company qualified to export its novelty. It is a paint made from a special ore that adheres completely to its own self-adhesive surface. The product is obtained through a simple and non-toxic process, requiring no glue, resin, solvents or paint. Because of this property, it has already been certified by INMETRO to sell in Brazil and the sale started just over two weeks ago. However, the international market – especially the United States and Argentina, where the product has proved more popular – is already under attack, as explained by Ronis André Pinto, partner of M3 Indústrias. At the moment they are doing commercial prospecting to find their perfect match. Where there is adhesion, the company will settle.

“We have high expectations for the export of this product, both for the children’s segment and for collections of knowledge themes, such as the flags of the countries. We see it as an opportunity to send each country’s flags so that people can paint their own flags. For example, it can be used in classrooms. It is a new playful application of ornamental sand, where children can make works of art with sand,” explains André.

The ability to export the product came from PEIEX’s service. Initially, the idea was to export flavorings, the company’s flagship product, but when they presented the sand paint project to the technicians at the center, they decided it would be the first product to be exported.

Itajai Nucleus

The two companies participated in the Itajaí operations center. It is a core with a strong presence because it is present in a region with two of the main ports of Brazil: Porto de Rio Grande and Itajaí. It is therefore a relevant region when it comes to internationalization. As a result, the level of companies and the core itself is high.

According to Ulisses Medeiros, analyst of ApexBrasil’s Qualification coordination, the 2021 cycle was the second of the agreement with the University of Vale do Itajaí (Univali). In this agreement, one of the technicians was awarded by the Agency for delivering one of the best export plans in Brazil. Moreover, the result of the first agreement, in 2018, was very positive: more than 50% of the participating companies managed to export or increase exports, such as Mercotoys.

“PEIEX is ApexBrasil’s main action to prepare start-up or non-exporting companies for the export process. It is an individual qualification that companies have at their disposal to get to know the whole process and to be able to export,” explains Medeiros. Currently, there are more than 30 active centers across the country, operating, implementing and implementing the Agency’s proprietary methodology in each location together with the partner institution.

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