News Bureau

December 10, 2020

India the largest silver jewellery producer!

Recently, Silver Jewelry Report, Prepared for The Silver Institute-published in December. The report is widely focussed upon jewellery trend & Outlook 2021. The Scale of the Silver Jewelry Market says, last year global silver jewelry fabrication reached an impressive 200.2Moz (6,228t), up a full 26% on the low for the decade in 2012.

There was a quick recovery in many countries after that trough when the silver price fell, but the robust growth after that was largely driven by India. That country’s growth was in turn mainly due to rising disposable incomes plus supportive structural factors.

As explained, this year has proved tough, with demand expected to fall by 23% due to COVID damage. On a more positive note, we are forecasting a healthy recovery next year of 13%.

Looking at key Silver Jewelry Markets, the report says, India is by some margin the largest producer, accounting for 35% of total fabrication in 2019 (and so up massively on the 13-14% seen in 2010-12). That was not always the case as, basis our statistics starting in 2010, China was the world’s largest fabricator until 2013. The current number two is Thailand, whose strength rests on exports and being home to production for key brands such as Pandora.

Exports also explain the position of the fourth biggest globally, Italy. That just leaves the US to complete the top five, with this group accounting for almost 80% of the global total in the last few years. In terms of consumption, the rankings change notably. India remains number one, but the US moves up to become a clear number two, while China is third, Italy, as a major exporter, and even more so Thailand fall down the rankings.

However, collectively Europe pulls back into a comfortable third place, roughly 20% down on the US but 50% bigger than China. We should note here that our figures for fabrication and consumption are in terms of the fine weight of silver.

If we looked at markets in terms of their value, a radically different picture emerges due to the totally different mark ups at the retail level on silver jewelry. In India for example, the mark up on traditional jewelry is usually as low as 10-15% and even so-called fashion jewelry might only go as high as 40%.

In contrast, Western silver jewelry sells on average at around 10 times the silver’s value. This in turn reflects the higher design element, the frequent incorporation of stones and the premium that branded goods attract. As a result, on a value basis, the US silver jewelry market is easily the world’s largest at around 5-6 times the size of India.

The latter might even struggle to beat Europe’s largest, Germany. The gap between Europe and the US also narrows on a value basis as branded goods have a higher market share in Europe. For instance, Pandora is thought to account for roughly a quarter of French sales, but is only just over 10% of the US total. 


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