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Chinese art market falls by 48% in 2012

2013-08-15 14:46:00

( By Xu Xinlei


The Chinese art market took a hit in 2012 as sales volume fell by 48 percent compared to 2011, according to a report released by the China Association of Auctioneers.

A total of 788 auctions of Chinese antiques and artworks were staged throughout the country in 2012. A total of 563,915 items were offered, yet only 47.84 percent were sold. The sales volume reached 28.85 billion yuan ($4.72 billion), a drop of 47.88 percent compared to 2011.

Even amid a slowing market, the number of auction houses has grown to 355, an increase of 46 over the last year. Most of the newcomers are concentrated in Beijing and Shanghai.

Business revenue totaled 3.22 billion yuan, with gross profit accounting for 42.82 percent, or 1.38 billion yuan. In addition, only 38.31 percent of the domestic auction houses made profits in 2012.

Chinese calligraphic works and paintings have always been an area of interest. In 2012, the category fetched 18.92 billion yuan, about 65.6 percent of the entire sales volume.

Over 90 percent of the sold items were priced below 500,000 yuan, especially in the category of ancient books, stamps and coins. High-end items were mainly oil paintings and contemporary art; 8.23 percent of the pieces were priced above 500,000 yuan.