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Loose diamond sales were a hot topic at this year's Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair
Loose diamond sales were a hot topic at this year's Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair

Hong Kong jewellery fair closes amid caution

Loose diamond exhibitors at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair noted some softening of prices as buyers were prepared to hold out on making large volume purchases while jewellery buyers were cautious.
The Hong Kong jewellery fair closed on Sunday and according to IDEX Online, diamond and jewellery traders were content with the show’s offerings, despite slow visitor traffic and cautious buyers, indicating that the mood prior to the show was highly pessimistic.

While sales expectations were low leading up to the fair, the mood and expectations of traders clearly reflect the current climate of jewellery retail and the global economy in general.

John Worth, owner of New Zealand-based jewellery distributor Worth & Douglas said the fair was busy, although buyers expressed cautious optimism, given the economic situation and conservative levels of consumer spending.   

“Most manufacturers seemed to be playing it safe, but that’s the way retail is at present,” Worth said.

Loose diamonds however were the subject of growing interest from several Chinese buyers. A report from Diamonds.net said that Chinese retail buyers visiting the show were enthusiastic about larger, high-quality stones.

It reported Flora Wan, vice-president of marketing at ENZO, a Chinese retail chain as saying that the Chinese market was focused on stones in the range of 0.70 carats and 1.10 carats, with some buyers focused on better clarity stones.

Loose diamond vendors generally agreed with the Diamonds.net observations, with many saying buyers from Asia were showing more willingness to compromise on quality and are moving towards stones with more affordable price points.

“The Far East is increasingly looking for lesser quality goods,” a New-York-based diamond exhibitor, who requested anonymity, said.

After the initial price hikes of diamonds throughout June and July, the prices eventually cooled and buyers capitalised on this trend in order to attain lower prices at the fair.

Most loose diamond exhibitors agreed that there was a drop in prices, and many noted that buyers were happy to refrain from making large volume purchases, expecting prices to continue to drop.

According to traders surveyed in IDEX Online’s report, the price reductions varied from a few per cent to as much as 10 per cent depending on the item and the seller’s need to generate turnover.

The outlook for diamond demand is positive, particularly across the Chinese and Indian markets.

“Broken down by region, the outlook is not that bad,” according to IDEX’s findings. “Jewellery sales in Japan and China keep growing and India is expecting a good wedding season.”

There was over 3,450 exhibitors at the event and organisers reported that visitor traffic reached 48,188 with 30 per cent of the total visitors being from from Hong Kong while 23 per cent came from Mainland China and seven per cent from India.

More reading:
IDEX Online Report: Hong Kong show reveals global economic concerns
Diamonds.net report: Hong Kong show closes amid price uncertainty, economic concerns

Diamond investment fund stretch to Australia
Jewellers 'tickled pink' at gem sale

Ikecho Australia

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