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March 24, 2017

Global art market sales dip 11% in 2016

Total sales in the global art market stood at $56.6bn in 2016, 11% less than the previous year, according to the first Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report.

By Verdict Staff

Total sales in the global art market stood at $56.6bn in 2016, 11% less than the previous year, according to the first Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report.

The US remained as the largest art market, accounting for a 40% market share. The UK took the second place with a market share of 21%, followed by China with a 20% share.

According to the report, sales in the dealer sector rose 3% year-on-year to $32.5bn. However, the value of sales at public auctions slumped 26% year-on-year to $22.1bn.

Chinese market led the auction sector contributing to 34% of sales by value, while the US market reported a decline in auction sales in 2016.

Online sales of art and antiques increased 4% year-on-year to $4.9bn, accounting for about 9% of the global art and antiques market by value.

Aggregate sales from art fairs were $13.3bn in 2016, a 5% increase compared to the last year and a 57% surge since 2010. Art fairs contributed to almost 41% of dealer sales in 2016, the study found.

The data for the report was gathered and analysed directly by Arts Economics from dealers, auction houses, art and antique collectors, art price databases, financial and economic databases, industry experts and others involved in the art trade.

Arts Economics founder and author of the report Clare McAndrew said: "2016 was a challenging year for the art market with uneven performance across regions and sectors. An uplift in gallery sales prevented a deeper decline in sales overall, with dealers gaining share of the global art trade.

“However even within this sector, performance differed between segments, with the best results reported for dealers operating at the high end of the market. Auction sales experienced a steep drop in value in 2016 and unlike previous years, it was the highest end – sales over $10 million – that suffered the greatest decline.”

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