Rapaport Magazine

Local Industry Gains on India

China Market Report

RAPAPORT... China’s jewelry industry is catching up with India, with its disciplined workforce providing the Asian nation with a “slight edge,” an eight-member delegation from India’s Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) found during a recent trip to the main jewelry manufacturing centers in China.

“The jewelry industry in China is growing rapidly,” said Vasant Mehta, the vice chairman of the GJEPC. “It is fast catching up with India as Chinese jewelers also make good products.” He claimed that the “superior craftsmanship” of the Chinese jewelry industry provides an additional advantage.

Mehta said the Indians are eyeing China’s vast market. He believes that as the Chinese economy surges ahead and people’s living standards rise steadily, the Chinese jewelry sector will not be able to cope with the rising demand. “This is where India will have an opportunity,” he theorized.

Even if China’s domestic players can satisfy the local demand, there is always a strong possibility that customers will show some preference for foreign brands and products. “That is what we are banking on,” he said. “We are here because China is emerging as one of the largest consumer markets and we want to establish relations with the jewelry manufacturers of China. We saw this visit as a good opportunity to market our diamonds. Although 11 out of 12 diamonds used in jewelry worldwide come from India, we need to find new markets.”

China could be a rich market for diamonds, especially since the size of the population is huge and their spending capacity is rising very fast. The delegation visited Shanghai as well as Panyu City in Guangdong Province, the center of China’s jewelry industry.

“I believe that this visit will be a good start for us to have direct relations with the Chinese jewelry and diamond industry. Indian diamonds are being sold in China but these are being sold through other centers. The visit will facilitate a direct relationship,” said Mehta. The GJEPC also will host Chinese delegations during the Indian International Jewellery Show in Mumbai from August 30 to September 3, 2007.

Jewelry Shanghai 2007 Spotlights Men

Male jewelry consumers took center stage at the recent Jewelry Shanghai 2007, which was held April 10 to 13 at The Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) in Shanghai.

Exhibitors displayed diamond-encrusted rings, pendants, bracelets and belt buckles, all aimed at the male consumer. “Jewelry has targeted female consumers, but there is also demand from male consumers in China,” said Kevin Chen, marketing director for jewelry wholesaler Boee Jewellery, which has been selling a men’s diamond line for five years.

Reportedly the largest jewelry fair in East China, Jewelry Shanghai featured more than 400 companies from 22 countries and regions displaying more than 400 million yuan — $50 million — worth of jewelry.

Final Preparations for Labor Day

According to Guo Wei, office manager of Dalumi Shanghai Co., Ltd., a good portion of the wholesale market activity during the past two months has been devoted to retailers’ preparations for the Labor Day Holiday Golden Week from May 1 to 7. He said that sales started picking up after the value-added tax (VAT) came down to 4 percent and described the preholiday sales as very satisfactory.

“Clients are buying bigger stones this year, and stones over 1 carat are moving better,” said Guo. “The developed cities like Beijing and Nanjing have more acceptance for a wider range of goods, including 0.50-carat to 1-carat stones of K color or lower, with high clarity, for a good price. This is a difference that I have noticed from last year, and even several famous retail brands are promoting such goods. The price of 0.10 to 0.50 carat, I to J color, VVS clarity rose about 10 percent over last year. Stones greater than 1 carat in J to K color with high clarity and a good make have also played an important role in sales recently.”

Additional reporting provided by Julius Zheng, G.G. and Thomson Dialog: NewsEdge.

The Marketplace

The majority of goods selling in the
market are:
• 10-per-carat, good make, VS+/H-I, selling at approximately $620 to $660. • 6-per-carat, good make, VS+/H-I, selling at approximately $830 to $870.
• 4-per-carat, good make, VS+/H-I, selling at approximately $1,040 to $1,080.
• 3-per-carat, good make, VS+/H-I, selling at approximately $1,300 to $1,400.
The market also accepts:
• 10-per-carat, good make, VS+/I-J, selling at approximately $550 to $580.
• 6-per-carat, good make, VS+/I-J, selling at approximately $780 to $830.
• 4-per-carat, good make, VS+/I-J, selling at approximately $900 to $950.
• 3-per-carat, good make, VS+/I-J, selling at approximately $1,250 to $1,350.
• Small goods in 0.01 to 0.02 carat
and 0.04 to 0.07 carat in VS-SI are in good demand.
• 0.25 to 0.50 carat in G-H/VS are in very good demand.
• Fancy shape demand increased for pear, oval and princess shapes in 1 carat up in J-K/ VVS-VS with good make.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - May 2007. To subscribe click here.

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