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China's art auction market still on downturn spiral
By Tong Hao (
Updated: 2009-01-12 15:22

China's artworks auction market continued to slow sharply in the second half of 2008, a report says.

Transaction volume in the second half of 2008 was estimated to reach 7 to 8 billion yuan, compared to 16.12 billion yuan ($2.35 billion) a year earlier, according to a report issued by Art Market Research Center of China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CCAFA).

The transaction volume in the first half of 2008 was 11.58 billion yuan.

"Autumn is the traditional peak season for the art market. However, as an investment instrument like the real estate and stock, it has been inevitably influenced by the global financial crisis," said Zhao Li, the report compiler and a professor of CCAFA.

However, Zhao believes the global financial crisis has also brought opportunities to China's art market.

"The prices of some artworks have dropped to a reasonable level. Therefore, the investment value of art market is looking better than that of stocks or real estate."

The transaction volume of the 4 major auction companies in China, China Guardian, Poly international, Beijing Council and Xiling Auction, decreased by 56 percent from 2.5 billion yuan in the spring to 1.1 billion yuan in the autumn.

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