ITA Houston: Italy Soars in America

Market and seasonal trends fluctuate but Fine Jewelry is growing. This is what emerges from the analysis conducted by ITA’s Houston Office on Italian jewelry imports into the US market.

General scenario

Net of fluctuating trends and economic developments, the US market is still of primary importance for the trade of Italian products. After the big crisis of 2008/2011, years in which jewelry risked extinction with only $90 million in imports, it was in 2014 that the first solid signs of recovery were seen thanks to the dollar reaching an all-time high, gold at its lowest and American buyers increasingly directing their search towards a quality product and not just in terms of price. Although the pandemic disrupted the logic of international trade in 2020, the US market has continued to grow, reaching a record level of imports equal to $106.5 billion, with Italian products alone accounting for $1.7 billion, up 10.2% compared to 2019. The continuing pandemic meant that 2021 was an adjustment year for US imports, with the value of imported products standing at $95.4 billion, down 10.5% from 2020. In contrast, imports from Italy grew by 75.39% compared to 2020, with an absolute value of $2.97 billion.

Focus on jewelry

A closer look at American jewelry and gold imports leads to a detailed picture of the sector’s specific categories. In fact, the majority of imports concern the following items: unmounted diamonds have a market share of 20.84%; unwrought platinum has a share of 19.24%; finished precious metal products have a share of 14.67%; unwrought gold has a share of 14.56%; and non-specific products have a share of 10.26%. Summing up, there are three types of Italian jewelry imports whose values, when added together, make up 93% of total imports. The first is Fine Jewelry, in other words, finished products in precious metals, a category for which Italy ranks second only to India as a supplier country to the US with a market share of 12.05% and an absolute value of 1.7 billion dollars (+73.57% compared to 2020). The second type concerns unwrought platinum, with Italy in fifth place as supplier with a market share of 5.49% and an absolute value amounting to $1 billion. Lastly, costume jewelry. With a share of 6.77% and an absolute value of $67.7 million, Italy is the second largest supplier to the United States. Generally speaking, then, there is a slow but steady growth of Made in Italy, which is still the most appreciated by American buyers who are constantly on the lookout for new products in line with current market trends.

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