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Hong Kong Show Signals Cautious Far East Demand

Jun 25, 2012 5:02 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... The June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair failed to signal significant Far East demand ‎as dealers in round diamonds left the show disappointed. ‎

‎“In terms of traffic, mood and sales it was one of the slowest shows I can remember in ‎Hong Kong,” said one Hong Kong-based dealer in better-quality, large ‎certified goods. “Consumer confidence is down and people in the ‎retail and private sectors are unsure about the economy.”‎

Others agreed, with another dealer noting that concerns were ‎mainly focused on external factors influencing the market.‎ He reported that buyers were looking for SI goods while better-quality VVS stones were ‎still proving difficult to sell.

Exhibitors who spoke with Rapaport News indicated that ‎suppliers were prepared to lower prices in order to spur sales of round diamonds. ‎

‎“I’m not sure if they were just prepared to take smaller margins or if they were under ‎pressure to make bank payments, but goods were selling cheaper,” the Hong Kong-‎based dealer said. ‎

An Israel-based fancy shapes manufacturer suggested ‎that the show was better for dealers in fancies, even if trading was below levels seen at ‎the June show of 2011.‎

‎“For us it wasn’t as bad as we expected it would be,” he said. “Customers feel they can ‎squeeze you on the rounds but there is not much room to bargain on the fancy shapes. ‎The margins on fancy shape goods are better at the moment.”‎

Inter-dealer trading was significantly reduced from one year ago as Indian buyers were not a ‎significant presence at the show. While buyers from mainland China attending the fair were there to shop around, however, they did not buy significant quantities. ‎

Exhibitors reasoned that wholesalers and retailers in Hong Kong and China are holding ‎large inventories and were holding back from buying while economic sentiment is weak. ‎

Show organizers reported that the event had a record number of exhibitors participating with 1,793 vendors from 36 countries displaying at the show. The event is considered the smallest of the three jewelry trade fairs held in Hong Kong each year.
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, diamonds, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, Jewllery, Rapaport
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