Mattel Argentina SA and Ditoys SA remained the leading players in Argentina traditional toys market in 2012. The reason for this is that both players are active in most categories, which lets them capitalise on opportunities offered by a range of consumer trends. The companies produce the most demanded licensed lines and enjoy the most comprehensive distribution, which allows them to reach different income segments. Both companies also invest heavily in advertising. Additionally, the commoditisation of licensed lines, such as Barbie, help leading brands attain higher awareness among consumers and throughout all categories, offering different sets of products and wider price ranges to compete across price points with brands that have a lower level of consumer awareness.
The traditional toys and games category grew by 25% in current value terms in 2012, well above the 16% CAGR seen during the review period, which was lower in part due to the 2009 contraction, reflecting both international and local financial turmoil. Inflation and a particularly strong Christmas season were the main drivers of growth in 2012, alongside a surge in Amparos. In terms of inflation, in a context of intensive government spending, high liquidity, negative real interest rates and strong bank discounts, the effective annual rate continues to accelerate. INDEC, the national institute of statistics, estimated the local consumer price index increased by less than 10% during 2012, whereas private estimates reached a consensus of 26%.
The traditional toys and games category is set to grow at a 4% CAGR in constant value terms over the forecast period. In early 2013, the Government revoked the non-automatic licence policy for 18 products, including traditional toys and games, through the resolution 11/2013. The policy implied that every imported good in the country was subject to regulatory approval, aiming to counterbalance a negative trade balance and, as seen, had a strong negative impact on imports for leading international manufacturers. The initiative, however, was received in the industry with caution. The consensus is that import restrictions are expected to remain by other means, such as Advanced Sworn Statement on Imports (DJAI) introduced in early 2012 under Resolution No. 3252.
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