Turkey's jewelry exports saw an increase of 53.5 percent in March compared to the previous year and reached $523.3 million, an all-time high.
In the first quarter of the year, jewelry exports reached $860.5 million with an 8.7 percent rise from the previous year. The first quarter of 2017 saw $791.5 million in jewelry exports.
The jewelry sector sold products to more than 140 destinations around the world during the first three months of the year. Exports to the U.K. were $151.8 million, 38 times higher than last year's exports.The U.K. was followed by Switzerland, to which jewelry exports amounted to $74.5 million, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with $62.6 million. Jewelry sales to China and the U.S. were $60.7 million and $52.5 million, respectively.
From January to March 2017, Iraq received 29.8 percent of Turkey's jewelry exports. Exports to the UAE accounted for 27.3 percent of jewelry sales abroad. In the same months this year, the U.K. topped the destinations for Turkish jewelry with a 17.6 percent share of total jewelry exports.
Exports from Istanbul were $792.5 million, or 92.1 percent of total jewelry exports, in the first three months of the year.The chairman of Jewelry Exporters' Association, Ayhan Güner, said Dubai's imposition of a 5 percent customs duty and 5 percent value-added tax (VAT) caused the emirate's popularity for jewelry sales to fall, and after the tax was imposed, those who would usually buy jewelry in Dubai came to Turkey instead. He further said that customers already know products sold in Dubai are made in Turkey anyway.
He added that jewelry exports to Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong rose sharply. He said that exports were $3.5 billion last year and the aim is to reach $5 billion in 2018.