Jewellers struggle to keep costs down as market weakens.
Italian jewellers suffered a sharp decline in export business in 2009 as gold prices rocketed.
Speaking at a press conference, BaselWorld adviser Gaetano Cavalieri said that last year was a “tough” year for the Italian jewellery industry. He added that exports fell 20.6 percent in the first semester of 2009.
While exports of Italian jewellery to the United Arab Emirates increased in 2009, Cavalieri said that this was “an optical illusion” due to the hike in gold prices.
Cavalieri said that Italian jewellers were looking to cost cutting to keep their businesses afloat. He added: “Keeping costs down was difficult when the price of gold is rising so sharply.”
One area of export that had strengthened for Italy was emerging market China, which Cavalieri described as a growth market for Italian jewellery. Exports of Italian jewellery to China jumped 79 percent year on year in 2009.