Italian jewellery exports recovering – Vicenza fair president
VICENZA, Italy, May 22, 2010 – Italian gold and silver jewellery exports are showing signs of recovery after a prolonged downturn, benefiting from increased revenues due to the higher price of gold, Roberto Ditri, president of the Vicenza Fair, said.
Vicenza CHARM 2010
“For the Italian goldsmith and jewellery sector, in the first two months of 2010 it is estimated that there was an increase in the value of exports of about 9 percent, attributed almost exclusively to increases in list prices due to rises in the price of gold,” Ditri said in an opening address at the CHARM edition of the Vicenza fair on May 22. He gave no turnover figures in euros.
Ditri noted that Italian gold jewellery exports in volume terms had fallen by 5 percent in January-February 2010 compared with the same period in the previous year.
But he warned of a rocky path ahead for the sector due to the global financial crisis.
“2010 continues to signal uncertainty for the world economy,” Ditri told an audience of buyers, exhibitors and trade journalists.
“Concerns linked to the future of the European single currency, the stability of some economies of the euro zone, and continued upheaval in the financial markets, certainly do not help to restore confidence.
“The strong increases in the price of the primary safe haven commodity, gold, demonstrate this.”
Italian jewellers said they were cautiously optimistic about the outlook for export sales in key markets such as the United States in the coming months, with the weaker euro making finished Italian products cheaper in terms of other currencies, such as the U.S. dollar.
Prominent jeweller Roberto Coin said he planned to expand his presence in India, which he saw as a key market in future due to Indians’ traditional love of jewellery and the bright economic prospects of the country.
The Italian jewellery sector has been hard hit in recent years, due to the global economic crisis, and tough competition from emerging market manufacturers which have lower labour costs than Italy. High import duties in key markets for Italian jewellery, such as China, Russia and the United States, have presented a challenge to sales, jewellers say.
Now market prospects are improving again as retailers re-build inventories that had been wound down during the economic downturn.
Vicenza CHARM 2010
“The U.S. market is picking up again,” said Daniela Invernizzi of the World Gold Council, also noting a promising start to the year in some European and Asian markets.
Some jewellers are using less gold weight in designs to tackle the recent surge in prices, she added.
The WGC is promoting Gold Expressions, an international roadshow to showcase some of Italy’s most innovative gold jewellery designs.
Italy is one of the world’s leading exporters of gold and silver jewellery. The Italian industry is fragmented, with many family-owned artisanal companies based in traditional manufacturing centres such as Vicenza and Valenza.