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China loses top place in art market to US

By Lin Qi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-03-14 15:15

After two years of a strong performance, China was overtaken by the United States in the art market in 2012, for the first time in three years, a report by The European Fine Art Fair has shown.

China had an art market share of 25 percent in 2012, down from 30 percent in 2011. The US regained its premier position in the global art market with a 33 percent share, up 4 percentage points year-on-year.

In its annual report, TEFAF analyzed the performance in the global art trade of auction houses, dealers and galleries. The report examined the fine art category as well as antiques and decorative art. This year, it focused on the booming art landscapes in China and Brazil.

The report said that global art sales contracted by 7 percent to 43 billion euros ($55.6 billion) last year, due to the continued global economic slowdown and uncertainty.

A slowing Chinese market, where sales fell 24 percent, played a key factor in the global decline.

The report attributed the deceleration of the Chinese market to a reduction of high-quality and high-priced items on the market, and less participation of art funds and other investors.

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