INTERVIEW – Turkish jewellery exports surging, driven by US, Mideast markets

0
177

By David Brough

Turkish jewellery exports are up sharply in value terms year-on-year in 2021, driven by surging demand in U.S. and Middle Eastern markets, and by the efficiency and flexibility of Turkish production, Mustafa Kamar, Chairman of Turkey’s Jewellery Exporters’ Association (JTR), said.

The value of the total of Turkish gold and silver jewellery, gemstone and diamond exports, excluding bullion, was estimated to be up 180 percent in 2021, compared with 2020, Kamar said in an interview with Jewellery Outlook at the Istanbul Jewelry Show on October 8, 2021.

The U.S. is set to leapfrog other destinations such as Dubai and become the number 1 export destination for the Turkish jewellery and gemstone sector in value terms in 2021 after a very successful performance by Turkish exporters at the JCK show in Las Vegas this year.

“Turkey is very strong in production, flexibility, delivery and price,” Kamar said.

“JCK (in August 2021) was our best show of the last 10 years.”

U.S. buyers were busy restocking after months of lockdowns.

Mustafa Kamar, Chairman of Turkey's Jewellery Exporters' Association, and Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough

Mustafa Kamar, Chairman of Turkey’s Jewellery Exporters’ Association, and Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough

The September 2021 edition of Vicenzaoro had also seen a strong order flow from U.S. buyers, organisers said.

Turkey is a leading supplier of high volume manufactured gold and silver and diamond jewellery to markets around the world.

Turkish brands such as Roberto Bravo, which Kamar heads, offer gemstone-set jewellery to high-end luxury shoppers.

Kamar said weak points for Turkish exporters were design, but suppliers were working hard to develop this, and skilled labour shortages, reflecting a global problem, such as a lack of polishers.

JTR was supporting Turkish jewellery schools to help expand the skilled labour pool, but sees the labour shortages as a longer term challenge that needs resolving.

During the height of the pandemic, Turkey’s jewellery and gemstone sector had lost around 30 percent of its turnover, but now the market was rallying and some manufacturers were at capacity to meet orders.

Turkish gold and silver jewellery production, including chains, was providing stiff competition to Italian suppliers because Turkish manufacturers benefited from economies of scale as factories in Turkey tend to be bigger and labour costs lower than in Italy, Kamar said.

Mustafa Kamar, Chairman of Turkey's Jewellery Exporters' Association, and Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough

Mustafa Kamar, Chairman of Turkey’s Jewellery Exporters’ Association, and Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough

Turkish exporters were also making inroads into the post-Brexit UK market, fending off Italian competition to supply British Asian wholesalers and retailers.

Turkish jewellery exhibitors at the current edition of the Istanbul Jewelry Show were seeing strong orders from overseas buyers, Kamar said.

“This show is looking very good and strong,” he said.

The Istanbul Jewelry Show, organised by Informa Markets, runs until October 10, 2021.