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China is promising to be biggest consumer of jewelry
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16:54, May 14, 2009

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It was revealed from Jewelry Shanghai 2009 on May 13 that, by 2020, China's jewelry industry can expect annual sales of 300 billion yuan and exports worth over 12 billion USD. Consequently, China will have become one of the most competitive producers and a trade center of jewelry and accessories in the world, as well as the world's biggest consumer market of jewelry.

Challenges to be faced as supply exceeds demand

The development of the jewelry industry relies on an increase in national economic strength and a rise in consumer consumption and confidence. Generally speaking, jewelry consumption is the first to suffer and the last to recover when the economy experiences drastic fluctuations.

As demand from countries with high jewelry consumption such as the US drastically decreases in 2009, China's processing and trade exports of diamonds, precious metals and others will greatly reduce. General trade exports of pearl, fashion accessories and colored gemstones will also face challenges.

According to estimates, China processes more than 100 million pieces of jewelry and gems every year. Jewelry supply is expected to considerably exceed demand in 2009, and competition among related enterprises will intensify.

Diamond sales thrive

The situation has thus far not developed this way, however. From October 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, under the influence of the global financial crisis triggered by the US sub-mortgage crisis, there was a marked decline in major diamond markets such as Europe, the US and Japan. However, Chinese mainland's diamond markets are maintaining relatively fast growth, becoming the only region to maintain growth in diamond sales among the world’s major economies.

According to statistics released by De Beers, the largest diamond producer in the world, in this financial tsunami, it has experienced a cold winter for sales in major markets such as Europe and the US. In China, however, the company's diamond sales grew by over 15 percent against the general trend. According to Sun Wensheng, chairman of the Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China, China's gross jewelry sales were approximately 180 billion yuan, an increase of over 10 percent year-on-year.

Stimulated by rapid economic growth and a sharp increase in demand for consumer goods, the jewelry sales market in China is showing increasingly evident advantages. At present, China has become the world’s largest consumer of emerald, jade, pearl and platinum jewelry, the second largest gold consumer, and one of the main diamond consuming powers in the world. According to statistics, the total revenue generated by China’s domestic diamond jewelry retail market in 2008 exceeded 20 billion yuan.

By People's Daily Online

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