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Catwalk presentation at Hong Kong
Catwalk presentation at Hong Kong
 










Confidence back at HK Jewellery Show

The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show closed on Saturday with a record number of exhibitors and visitors, indicating that confidence has returned to the market.

From the opening day there was a distinct air of confidence in the halls and although visitor numbers are always high on the first day, there was no doubt that buyers and sellers seemed enthusiastic.  

The fair’s organiser, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), had announced a record number of exhibitors before the event opened – more than 3,300 exhibitors from 49 countries – and by the close it stated that 42,000 buyers from 140 countries had attended the event, another record. 

Vipul Sutariya, Dharam Creations
Vipul Sutariya, Dharam Creations
The result is an 11 per cent increase over 2012’s figures but, more importantly for the organiser, visitor numbers from emerging markets increased by 18 per cent. 

Vipul Sutariya, executive marketing director Dharam Creations, a Hong Kong-based diamond dealer, said he felt the confidence before the fair opened.

“We sensed the fair would be good a few weeks beforehand because some goods were in short supply, particularly 30 and 40 pointers and one carat up. So we knew this show would be good and buyers would be chasing those stones,” Sutariya said. 

Vishal Mehta, President of Dimexon (Hong Kong) Ltd agreed. “We’ve seen positive momentum at this show as buyers are more confident to place orders now.

“So far, buyers from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand have placed orders for our loose diamonds. For finished jewellery, we have received orders from many buyers, especially those from Asia and the Middle East. We are cautiously optimistic about this year’s business,” Mehta added.

Lawrence Ma, chairman of the fair’s organising committee, also believed that confidence was coming back to the international jewellery market.

Lawrence Ma, HKTDC chairman
Lawrence Ma, HKTDC chairman
“For the first three months of 2012 transactions in the diamond markets were OK, then from May until October they were quite slow. The big chain stores were not taking in inventory because they didn’t have an optimistic outlook. But around late October to November last year sales started to pick up a lot as retailer sales grew stronger,” Ma told Jeweller

Sutariya said, “We’ve watched the US market grow for 18 months and now it’s increasing at a high speed. Our concern was for the Chinese market, which slowed in the last quarter of 2012. But we are now happy that the Chinese sales are starting to come back.

“I don’t seen any improvement in the European market and Australia is steady; no growth and no decline mainly because the [Australian] economy is flat.” 

Positive outlook
An independent survey was conducted throughout the show with around 800 buyers and exhibitors being interviewed about their views on market prospects, export outlook and product trends.
 
The majority of buyers and exhibitors interviewed were positive about market prospects. While 85 per cent of buyers interviewed expected a growing or steady turnover this year, 76 per cent of exhibitors interviewed believe that the market this year was better than or comparable to last year. 

The survey found that 66 per cent of buyers expected an increase in procurement spending, and more than 40 per cent were prepared for price hikes.

In addition, 70 per cent of the exhibitors interviewed expected a rise in production or procurement costs, while 30 per cent indicated that they would consider raising product prices. 

Hong Kong exports
Despite the global economic slowdown, Hong Kong’s exports of precious jewellery remained resilient, according to Benedict Sin, chairman HKTDC jewellery advisory committee.

“Export growth moderated to 14 per cent in 2012 reaching $US7 billion. Combined with re-exports, Hong Kong is the world’s sixth largest exporter of precious jewellery. The US and EU remained our dominant markets accounting for 47 per cent in 2012,” Sin said. 

Small orders
Since the global economic crisis, jewellery suppliers have been faced with smaller orders with buyers being reluctant to take risks. As a response, a Small-Order Zone was added to the show this year. It offered jewellery purchases in small quantities (5-500 pieces) and at prices below US$1,000 per piece. 

The new addition seemed to be very popular throughout the five-day event with HKTDC announcing that the zone had attracted more than 4,600 buyer visits and created about 8,000 trade enquiries.

Buying missions and events
The fair’s organisers, HKTDC, is a statutory body established in 1966. It is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. Each year it arranges buying missions and this year more than 90 buying missions from 80 countries and regions are took part in the show. 

At the time of publication, Australian and New Zealand visitor numbers were not available but traditionally around 700 buyers attend.

This year, Leading Edge Jewellers attended for the first time as part of the Australian buying mission. Leading Edge managing director Josh Zarb said that he normally attends the September Hong Kong fair and he was very surprised at how busy the HKTDC fair was. 

A wide range of seminars and networking events were conducted throughout the show as was the Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition. 

This year, Australians Martyn Brown and Martin Linning from Queensland-based store Jewellery By Design (JBD) won the Craftsmanship Award for their jewellery piece “Undulation”. See separate story

* The author attended the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show courtesy of the HKTDC
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Enormous crowds at registration areas
Enormous crowds at registration areas


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Monday, 24 September, 2018 02:26am
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