Italy's jewellery exports rose in the first five months of this year both in value and quantity as gold bullion prices fell, an industry report showed. Exports from Italy, Europe's top jewellery manufacturer and exporter, rose 6 per cent year on year in value terms during the period to €2.34 billion (HK$23.8 billion), the report released at the VicenzaORO trade fair on Saturday showed. In terms of quantity, exports rose 2.6 per cent to 1,951 tonnes. "The falling gold price definitely boosted volumes, but Italy has also done well in some of its key markets," said Professor Andrea Beretta Zanoni of the University of Verona, who helped to compile the report. "We have seen some signs of a recovery before, but in this period they seem to be more sustainable, not a once-off." The value of Italian jewellery exports to the US rose 12 per cent, while the value of products destined for the United Arab Emirates jumped 32 per cent. A 6 per cent fall in the average price of gold supported volumes. With the bullion price likely to remain under pressure and markets around the world showing signs of a recovery, the positive export trend should continue into next year, Beretta Zanoni said. The UAE and Switzerland took more than 40 per cent of Italy's jewellery exports in value terms during the five months. France was the top importer in terms of quantity, taking nearly a quarter of all Italian export volumes. Exports to mainland China were steady in terms of value. There was a 20 per cent jump in the value of shipments to Hong Kong, a bridge into the mainland. "Our exporters are present in China, but they don't yet have strong commercial roots there," said Beretta Zanoni.