KSA imports of pearls, precious stones hit SR19bn

Updated 20 May 2014

KSA imports of pearls, precious stones hit SR19bn

Saudi markets imported pearls and precious stones worth more than SR19 billion in 2013 compared to SR11 billion in 2012, or an increase of 73 percent, local media said.
Based on 2012 data, Switzerland and the UAE topped the list of countries mostly exporting pearls and precious stones to the Kingdom in 2012 in terms of value where Switzerland captured 62 percent of all Saudi imports at SR 6.8 billion, followed by the UAE at 18 percent (SR1.9 billion), an analytical study conducted by Al-Eqtisadiah daily said.
In terms of quantity, the Saudi markets imported 5,000 tons of pearls and precious stones in 2012, of which 3,700 tons or 80 percent, were imitated ornaments and jewelry. China alone exported 2,500 tons of imitated ornaments and jewelry, or 67 percent, to the Kingdom, the report said.
Despite the big amount of pearls and precious stones coming from China, their value stood at only SR 231 million because 78 percent of the Chinese exports to the Kingdom, or 2,500 tons, are imitated items, the report said.
Going into details, the pearls and precious stones sector contained a variety of types, notably gold bullion, of which the Saudi markets imported some 42 tons at the value of SR8.5 billion, or 78 percent of total values, the report said.
Other types of pearls and precious stones sector imported by Saudis were as follows: Gold at the value of SR 1.6 billion (14 percent), platinum valued at SR443 million (4 percent), imitated ornaments valued at SR163 million (1 percent); silver valued at SR65 million (1 percent), ordinary metal plated with precious metal valued at SR61 million (1 percent), metal works of ordinary or precious metals valued SR44 million, silver valued at SR 26 million, gold works valued at SR24 million and silver alloy at SR11 million, the report added.


Virus hastens newspapers’ slide into shaky digital future

The disappearance of newspapers deals out additional pain throughout the production chain, taking in printers, paper makers and delivery people. (AFP)
Updated 08 August 2020

Virus hastens newspapers’ slide into shaky digital future

  • Getting papers to readers is a challenge, worsening a decline in advertising

PARIS: The coronavirus crisis has weighed heavily on print newspapers already battling for survival around the world, with the number of copies sold tumbling while less profitable digital readerships surge.

Simply delivering printed papers to the shops — or having customers come in to buy them — has become a challenge, worsening the decline in sales and advertising revenue.
“Consumption of printed newspapers has fallen as lockdowns undermine physical distribution, almost certainly accelerating the shift to an all-digital future,” the Reuters Institute’s 2020 annual report said.
Major dailies in Brazil and Mexico have already switched to online-only or dropped some days’ editions, while in the Philippines 10 of the 70 newspapers in the PPI association have shuttered.
“Times are hard. There are no advertisers and no-one is reading us,” PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino said. The archipelago nation’s small local newspapers were hardest hit during lockdown as street sales tumbled. “The industry is under siege and we’ve all taken bruises,” Sebellino said.
Far from affecting only journalists, the disappearance of print papers deals out pain all up the production chain, taking in printers, paper makers and delivery people.
Major British media brands could boast of 6.6 million new online readers in the first quarter in what their industry association said was a new record. But most have not seen the same bounce in print sales. The coronavirus has become “the greatest threat to the global news industry since the 2008 economic crash” wrote industry publication Press Gazette — which itself moved online-only in 2013.

FASTFACT

Between 2005 and 2018, some 250 local papers closed across Britain.

Between 2005 and 2018, some 250 local papers closed across Britain, while today one in three journalists’ jobs are believed to be under threat. The picture is similar in the US, where dozens of papers have closed or merged with local competitors since the crisis. Between 2008 and 2019, half of all workers in American newspapers lost their jobs, according to a Pew institute count.
Around the world, audiences have melted away for the free sheets once handed out in busy urban centers. Unable to count on funding
from advertisers, some have paused publication, including Metro or Destak in Brazil or France’s 20 Minutes.
With its aging population used to holding a paper in their hands, Germany’s newspaper publishers “were all making money before the coronavirus crisis, even if circulation figures kept falling,” said Frank Ueberall, president of the DJV journalists’ federation.
“Things are different now,” but “text journalism still has good days ahead,” Ueberall said. “Old people in particular are far from adopting digital technologies en masse.”
“Printing is expensive, but it’s swings and roundabouts,” said Gilles Dechamps, head of a printing company in northern Paris, arguing that “it’s important for readers and for advertisers to have the landmark” of a printed paper.”
Despite efforts such as cutting their size to save paper or investing in the web over the past 30 years, few papers have found the winning formula to make money from 21st-century journalism.
“Even in the smallest markets, Facebook and Google syphon three-quarters of the digital revenue,” said Penelope Abernathy, a former Wall Street Journal and New York Times vice president who now teaches media economics at the University of North Carolina. “That leaves all other legacy media fighting for the digital scraps.”

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