vendredi 15 mai 2009

Italy Q1 jewellery exports down over 10 percent

* Q1 jewellery export volumes fall more than 10 percent
* Modest positive signs recently, full-year export to fall
* Lobbying to cut U.S. import duties on hold for now
(Adds comments, details)
By Svetlana Kovalyova
MILAN, May 14 (Reuters) - The volume of precious metal jewellery exports from Italy, Europe's top producer, fell more than 10 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and full year exports are set to decline due to weak demand, a senior industry official said.
Jewellery manufacturing is the main consumer of gold and other precious metals. Falling export tonnages from Italy, the world's leading exporter of gold jewellery, mean demand for the metals from jewellery makers has been dropping too.
"I am afraid export volumes fell more than 10 percent in the first quarter," Stefano de Pascale, director of Italian goldsmiths' body Federorafi, told Reuters on Thursday in a telephone interview, revising his earlier forecast of an 8-10 percent fall.
Full-year export volumes would also fall, despite some modest signs of recovery in purchase orders by clients and of metal purchases by jewellers, de Pascale said.
"We should wait and see if these small signals gain strength in the second half of this year... But they will not be able to reverse the negative trend and the year will close with a minus sign," he said, while declining to give precise forecasts.
De Pascale hoped the fall in sales would slow in the second half of 2009, with wholesale and retail buyers resuming purchases after a destocking period that has lasted several months because the economic crisis has hit consumer demand.
But it would require strong signs of recovery in the global economy and consumer demand to reverse the decline of Italian jewellery sales since the early 2000s, he said.
Italy sells abroad about 70 to 75 percent of the jewellery it makes and it used to dominate world markets. It has lost market shares to rivals from lower cost India, China and Turkey which have improved quality over past few years.
Last year exports of Italian precious metals jewellery fell 13 percent to 211.8 tonnes, according to data from another industry body, Club degli Orafi.
De Pascale said Federorafi had put on hold its efforts to push for a cut in U.S. import duties on European Union jewellery, which put Italian manufacturers at a disadvantage with their non-EU rivals on the world's key jewellery market.
"We are waiting to see clear signals from the Obama administration of what its trade policy is going to be," de Pascale said.
In the meantime, Italian jewellers would back a "zero duty" initiative to cut import duties on jewellery and some other goods as part of World Trade Organization talks, he said.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire