Harlequin silver cuff bracelet with diamonds by Gabrielle Bruni, Thailand
Silver jewellery fabrication registered a 9 percent decline in 2016 to 207 million ounces as higher prices and sluggish economic conditions affected demand, according to the World Silver Survey 2017. This was the first decline in production following three consecutive years of record-breaking growth.
India and China remained the top manufacturers of silver jewellery last year but both recorded substantial declines of 14 percent and 17 percent respectively, noted the Silver Institute-commissioned report produced by Thomson Reuters GFMS. Silver demand for jewellery production in the two countries was "materially weaker due to higher silver prices, a build-up of stocks, and in the case of India, the introduction of an excise duty on gold which had a spill-over effect," it said.
Thailand also saw production volumes dip by around 6 percent to 23 Moz due to weaker exports. Italy, meanwhile, posted a modest decrease of around 2 percent to 18.1 Moz.
Silver necklace with pink amethyst by Galmer Fine Silver
(picture courtesy of Silver Promotion Service)
Playing a big role in export-related declines was the 10 percent drop in US imports of silver jewellery, breaking a two-year string of positive growth.
The World Silver Survey 2017 said US jewellery imports from Asia, accounting for 77 percent of the total, fell on average by 13 percent between Thailand, China and India last year. The US also decreased its imports from Mexico by 23 percent.
Knots necklace in silver with rose gold-plated accents
by Frederic Duclos, US
These export declines are however not a negative commentary on US demand for silver jewellery. The country in fact increased its fabrication by 11.8 percent to become the largest producer in North America, according to the World Silver Survey 2017, which noted that the bulk of US-made silver pieces are high-end, luxury and specialty pieces like Tiffany's.
Also bucking the downtrend trend were Indonesia and Vietnam, which both registered positive growth thanks to increases in export volumes and domestic consumption, the World Silver Survey 2017 added.
According to the report, the average price of silver went up by 9.3 percent in 2016 to reach US$17.14 per ounce.
Top 15 producers of silver jewellery in 2016
Source: World Silver Survey 2017, GFMS team, Thomson Reuters
- Full report in SILVERSTYLES, June 2017 issue. Click here to subscribe.
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