Jewellery exports from Italy, Europe’s top producer, are expected to stabilise in 2010 after years of decline and then grow modestly next year, a senior industry official.
But it will take a couple of years for Italy’s jewellery export volumes to return to pre-crisis levels, Stefano de Pascale, the director of Italian goldsmiths’ body Federorafi, told Reuters in an interview at an international jewellery fair.
“According to our estimates, the sector should at least close at the levels of 2009, which were quite low because of the crisis. But this will still be a very positive result,” de Pascale said.
Italy’s jewellery sector, the world’s top exporter, has seen its share of global markets shrink in the past few years as competition from China, India and Turkey has advanced, and the global economic crisis dealt it a heavy blow.
“Then we can try to start recovery in 2011 ... and it will probably take a couple of years to return to (export volume) levels of 2007,” de Pascale said, adding that the pick-up would depend of the pace of global economic recovery. Even those forecast levels would be relatively low historically, however, because the Italian industry went into a structural decline starting in 2002-2003 due to the increased competition from emerging markets, he said.
Italy’s jewellery sector sells about 70 percent of its output abroad.
Jewellery export volume in tonnes—an indication of gold and other precious metals consumption by the industry—edged down 0.2 percent in the first five months of 2010 from the year-ago period, de Pascale said.
Exports of Italian jewellery jumped 23 percent year-on-year to 1.78 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in the January-May period of 2010 on the back of demand from China and other emerging markets but the spike was fuelled by high metal prices, the fair organisers said.
Precious metals intake by Italian jewellers remained weak as manufacturers sought to avoid building up stocks because of price volatility, de Pascale said. (Reuters)