Which Country Imports the Most Cultured Pearls in the World?

Jewellery And Bijouterie May 28, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

In 2016, the amount of pearl imported worldwide stood at 670 tonnes, approximately equating the previous year level. Overall, pearl imports continue to indicate a drastic contraction. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2016, when import increased by -0.7% from the previous year level. Global pearl import peaked of 1.2K tonnes in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

In value terms, pearl imports stood at $2.8B in 2016. Overall, it indicated a remarkable expansion from 2007 to 2016: the total imports value decreased at an average annual rate of -6.4% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, pearl imports increased by +44.8% against its level of 2011. Global pearl import peaked in 2016, and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

Top Pearl Importing Countries in the World

1. India (1,487.2 million USD)

2. Japan (356.5 million USD)

3. China (32.5 million USD)

4. Thailand (30.6 million USD)

5. Italy (22.6 million USD)

6. United Kingdom (13.9 million USD)

7. Spain (2.9 million USD)

8. Mexico (0.7 million USD)

9. Mali (0.4 million USD)

10. Senegal (0.1 million USD)

Pearl Imports By Country

In 2016, China (178 tonnes), distantly followed by India (94 tonnes), Senegal (82 tonnes), Japan (54 tonnes), Mali (46 tonnes), and Thailand (33 tonnes) were the major importers of pearl, together committing 72% of total imports. The following importers - Italy (26 tonnes), Mexico (18 tonnes), Spain (11 tonnes), and the UK (10 tonnes) together made up 10% of total imports.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of pearl imports, among the main importing countries, was attained by Mali (+26.7% per year), while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, India ($1.5B) constitutes the largest market for imported pearl worldwide, making up 53% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan ($357M), with the share of 13% of global imports. It was followed by China, with the share of 1%.

From 2007 to 2016, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value of pearl imports in India stood at +25.0%. The remaining importing countries recorded the following average annual rates: Japan (-2.0% per year) and China (+0.8% per year).

Pearl Import Prices By Country

The average pearl import price stood at $4.2K per kg in 2016, jumping by 17% against the previous year. In general, pearl import price continues to indicate a remarkable increase. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011, when it surged by 25% year-to-year. Over the period under review, average pearl import price reached its maximum level in 2016, and is likely to see steady growth in the near future.

There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst major importing countries. In 2016, the country with the highest import prices was India ($16K per kg), while Senegal ($1,027 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of pearl import prices was attained by India (+16.8% per year), while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Do you want to know more about global pearl market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • pearl market share
  • pearl prices
  • pearl industry
  • pearl sales
  • pearl import
  • pearl export
  • pearl market forecast
  • pearl price forecast
  • key pearl producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 7101 - Pearls; natural or cultured, whether or not worked or graded but not strung, mounted or set; pearls, natural or cultured, temporarily strung for the convenience of transport.

Source: World: Cultured Pearls, Precious Or Semi-Precious Stones - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025