Chinese Art Market Falls as Fast as It Rose

Poly Beijing Auction

Georgina Adam quotes her own newspaper in the Financial Times touting a report that Chinese art auction sales may not have kept up with their putative blistering pace. Citing The Art Newspaper, Adam says Chinese auction sales have dropped from $11.8bn to approximately $10bn:

According to the publication, sales at China’s two largest auction houses, Poly Auction and China Guardian, have plummeted by more than half. Poly, part of a conglomerate which also includes the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, saw sales drop from $1.9bn in 2011 to $965m in 2012. China Guardian reported $1.8bn in 2011 but just $820m in sales in 2012. […]

A number of elements affected the Chinese art market in 2012. Firstly, the country’s economy cooled, with growth of under 8 per cent, the worst in a decade. The impact was noticeable in Hong Kong, where many mainland buyers attend Sotheby’s and Christie’s twice-yearly sales. Christie’s reported $705.4m for its 2012 sales in Hong Kong, a drop of 15 per cent compared to 2011, while Sotheby’s – whose sales were $1bn in 2011 – made $592.9m in 2012. China’s leadership transition might also have been a destabilising factor. And finally, last year a number of mainland art collectors were investigated by the authorities as part of a clampdown on the declared value of art imports; this may also have discouraged buying.

Chinese Art Market: Auction Houses See Slump in 2012 Sales (Financial Times)