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Vicenza Fair reports surge in Italian jewel exports by value
 
VICENZA, Italy, September 11, 2010 - Vicenza Fair reported a surge in Italian jewellery exports by value, reflecting the rise in precious metals prices, as it launched its "Choice" edition.

Exports of Italian gold and silver jewellery jumped 23 percent year-on-year to 1.78 billion euros in the first five months of 2010, fuelled by demand from emerging markets, notably China, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, according to the latest figures released at the fair.

Italy is the world's leading exporter of gold and silver jewellery.

Vicenza Choice 2010
Roberto Ditri, president of the Vicenza fair, gives a speech to launch the "Choice" edition
of the fair on September 10, 2010

Vicenza Fair said the figures should be read with extreme caution, because this is the first positive result after a prolonged, tough period for the Italian export sector, and also because of the increased prices of precious metals.

The fair did not provide export figures in tonnes.

"In order to definitively confirm that the recovery is here to stay, it would be necessary for companies in the Italian gold and jewellery districts to orient themselves more and more towards emerging countries, which continue to be the 'driving force' behind world economic growth," the fair said in a statement.

Gold prices have risen by 15 percent in 2010 as investors have sought security in safe haven assets during the global economic crisis.

Gold hit its high of $1,264.90 an ounce in June amid worries over European debt and the sluggish U.S. economic recovery.

Roberto Ditri, president of the Vicenza fair, said in his address to open the "Choice" edition of the fair, which runs from September 10-14, that the Italian jewellery export sector needed to be more innovative to compete in international markets.

Vicenza Choice 2010
 
"We must always bring innovation to our traditional culture," Ditri said.

"We must understand new technologies and materials that are finding their way onto our markets."

Ditri added, "I am convinced that the production chain of the Italian goldsmithing and jewellery industry has what it takes to dominate new areas and find winning solutions."

The Italian goldsmithing sector, comprising for the most part small, family-owned companies, has been hard hit by the global economic crisis and competition from emerging economies with much lower labour costs.

The number of Italian jewellery manufacturers fell 1.8 percent year-on-year to 10,968 at the end of June, the fair said.

It added that about 13,000 jewellers were registered in Italy 10 years ago.

Gold jewellery sales in Italy, the European Union's top market, have been weak.

"World scenarios indicate that the demand is heading increasingly eastwards," the fair said.

The World Gold Council estimates that India is the country with the highest gold consumption, followed by China.

"Italy beats no records for gold consumption, but rather for quality and style, and can rely on added value that accounts for a greater margin at the time of sale."
 



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