Russia to be the surprise performer in 2017 jewelry exports
Over the first nine months of 2016, Italian jewelry exports fell by -6.2%; taking into account just the gold jewelry sector (which comprises almost 90% of exports), the drop is -5.8%. Looking at the individual destination countries, sales increased only in the United Arab Emirates (by +16.3%)—an overall loss of around €128 million in value.
It was a poor year for the so-called “transit” countries like Switzerland (-9.7%) and France (-16.4%), where ‘Made in Italy’ jewelry is delivered and then shipped to large fashion brands’ customers (rather than other parts of the world).
In spite of the general negative trend in 2016, there are some very comforting and promising facts for the ‘Made in Italy’ jewelry industry. First, the United States: over the first nine months of last year, overall Italian exports to the US rose by 5.7%. “This percentage and its value are not capable of counterbalancing losses suffered in other macro-areas of the world,” explains Stefana Trenti of Intesa Sanpaolo’s study and research center, “but the United States will continue to grow; having already overcome the 2009 financial crisis, they will be a promising market for 2017.”
Another positive surprise this year could arrive from Russia, whose internal market—thanks to a slight pickup in oil prices, the ruble’s stability, and a foreseeable calming of the political and economic climate (in comparison to the recent past)—shows interesting signs of reawakening. “Russia has always weighed heavily on Italian fashion and jewelry exports,” Trenti continues, “after having reached shocking lows of -30% and -40%, Italian exports to the country over the first nine months of 2016 reached +28%: a very high growth rate, since the baseline had been so low—but it signifies their renewed buying power.”
Italian jewelry exports to Russia reached their peak in 2007, with €112 million (2.2% of Italy’s total exports). This pinnacle fell to only €33 million (0.5%) in 2015, with Russia slumping to 25th place among Italy’s commercial outlets.