Mar 23, 2017 04:50 AM EDT

Global Art Sales For 2016 Fell 11%


The global art market saw a drop in its sales of more than 10 percent for the year 2016. This is due to political and economic uncertainty affecting auction sales.

Bloomberg reports that global sales of antiques and arts contracted 11 percent to $56.6 billion in 2016. This is based on a report published by the UBS Group AG and Art Basel.

Financial Times writes that the value of sales in public auctions fell by 20 percent to $22.1 billion. Sales of high-end works, on the other hand, dropped even more at 34 percent.

The sales of modern art pieces, in particular, fell 43 percent while that of postwar and contemporary pieces fell by 18 percent to $5.6 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Dr. Clare McAndrew, the cultural economist who authored the report, told Bloomberg that 2016 was a really challenging year for the art market. She says that with the market being supply-driven and with vendors holding back, it had resulted in a drop in the sales.

The private sector did comparatively better, she adds. However, the auction sector's performance declined significantly.

Sellers are holding back due to economic and geopolitical volatility in various countries, writes Bloomberg. But for buyers, antiques and art are a safe haven.

The report shows that the United States of America remained to be the top location for sales with a market share of 40 percent. It is followed by the United Kingdom with a market share of 21 percent, writes the Financial Times.

On a positive note, the online sales increased by 4 percent and that of art fairs jumped 5 percent. The sales of dealers and galleries also went up by 3 percent.

Works of Chinese painters also saw an increase in 5 percent in its sales to $1.4 billion. China and the UK benefited from these results, reports Bloomberg.

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