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Thai Jewel Exports Grow
Despite Global Risk Factors

Thai industry leaders are optimistic on the outlook for exports of Thai gems and jewelry products in the months ahead.

Mr Sumed Prasongpongchai, Director of The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization), or GIT, advised entrepreneurs who rely on major markets such as the US and Europe to adapt by focusing on designing products that meet customers’ preferences, and that demonstrate unique Thai skills.

Thailand’s exports of gems and jewelry (excluding gold) are expected to grow by 10% this year as demand in the high-end segment remains strong.

In the first quarter of this year, Thailand’s gems and jewelry exports (including gold) were valued at US$4.25 billion, down 22.8% from the same period last year.

Excluding gold, Thai exports of gems and jewelry for the first quarter were valued at $2.34 billion, down by 3.5% year-on-year.

Last year, Thailand’s total export value of gems and jewelry (excluding gold) was $7.08 billion, an increase of 29.5%.

Including gold, the value amounted to $15.1 billion, an increase of 49.8%. This was based on support from a recovering global economy, the easing of Covid-19 restriction policies in many countries, increased international travel and tourism, and the resumption of economic activities, which led to continuous growth in global production and consumer purchasing.

The anticipated growth in Thai jewel exports comes despite lower shipments in the first quarter, and risk factors related to the global economic slowdown, a possible recession in the US and EU, geopolitical conflicts, rising energy prices, high inflation in many countries, and increasing interest rates.

Mr Sumed was reported as saying that some analysts believe gold will continue to be in demand this year, with further increases in gold holdings.

“Given the export trends in 2023, it is still necessary to closely watch geopolitical conflicts. Energy prices and inflation remain high in many countries, and interest rates are rising. All of these are factors that hinder economic growth.

“This has been clearly visible since the last quarter of 2022, and is expected to become more evident in 2023, as the US and EU economies are both at risk of recession. However, markets in Asia, including China, Japan and Asean, are still expected to grow.”

GIT Director Sumed said Thai jewel products that retain strong market potential include gemstone jewelry, while luxury jewelry remains in high demand.

Other options in global markets include utilizing environment friendly marketing techniques and reducing carbon emissions throughout their supply chains.

These are global trends that are gaining importance, and opportunities must be sought from markets that are recovering, such as China, Japan, Central Asia, Asean, and India, where there is an increasing demand for jewelry and accessories, said Mr Sumed.

Important Thai export products that recorded growth included polished and cut semi-precious stones (up 90%), gold (up 82%), polished and cut precious stones (up 64%), gold jewelry (up 45%), polished and cut diamonds (up 42%), and imitation jewelry (up 17%).

The factors that led to higher gold exports were increased demand on the global market, and central banks around the world increasing their gold holdings by 1,136 tonnes, valued at $70 billion, the highest amount since 1967.

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