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Mood Improves in Opening Days of Hong Kong Show

Sep 17, 2015 8:18 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Diamond exhibitors noted steady traffic and improved sentiment in the opening stages of the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair.

“So far, the show is better than expected but we came with low expectations,” said a Hong Kong-based diamantaire who requested anonymity. “There are fewer Chinese buyers than usual but a good international presence of U.S. and European buyers.”

Many Indian buyers were also absent for the start of the show as it coincided with the final days of the Jain festival of Paryushan, and some are expected to travel to the show over the weekend.

Still, representatives of Rapaport at the show reported that activity was busier on Thursday than the opening day on Wednesday. Buyers are largely window shopping at this stage to gain a perspective on prices and availability.

Many diamond dealers view the show as a gauge of Far East jewelry demand ahead of the October Golden Week and Chinese New Year seasons, particularly since jewelry sales in China and Hong Kong have slowed in the past year.

Celine Lau, director of jewelry fairs at show organizer UBM Asia, stressed that the show offers an opportunity for vendors to tap into the lucrative China market. She noted that jewelry demand in China continues to grow but that buying habits of young consumers have changed.

“The continuous growth in per capita income bodes well for the country’s jewelry consumption. We have observed that the buying habits of young Chinese consumers have changed,” Lau explained. “They no longer pursue jewelry solely for investment purposes; rather, they buy jewelry as part of their wardrobe so they look for collections that are trendy and suitable for daily use.”

UBM Asia said it registered 3,752 exhibitors from 50 countries to participate in the show and expects approximately 60,000 visitors to attend. The show is split between two locations, with the loose diamonds and raw materials section taking place at AsiaWorld-Expo from September 16 to 20, and the finished jewelry exhibition located at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from September 18 to 22.
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