Monday, June 23, 2008

Sales “Medium,” Some Resistance to Prices at Hong Kong Show

Sales and movement at the recent June Hong Kong Jewellery and Watch Fair were medium, according to exhibitors, and the overall show, taking into account foot traffic and buying activity, was good, but not great, especially in comparison to last year’s June event.

Sales were reasonable and were affected by the recent price hikes in the market, said the manager of one firm specializing in high-end, white goods. Following the weak JCK show and weakness in the U.S. market, along with high prices in Israel and Antwerp, buyers are resisting the prices. “We settle [the price] half way,” he said, indicating that the high prices are not holding.

Strong sales were noted in particular for 5-3 carat stones in the lower H-K color range. Indian buyers were reportedly offering cash for these goods and buying almost anything they could.

Traffic at the show was at a medium level, sales were acceptable and overall it was a good show, but not a great one, “Last June’s show was a great show, but we have to take into consideration all of the factors playing in the Asian market right now,” commented the general manager of the Hong Kong office of a large diamond firm specializing in fancy cuts..

“There are problems with the Vietnamese currency, for example, many people are unsure about what’s going on with the prices and this is only June – not the high selling season – so our expectations were not so high to begin with,” he said.

“The powers of the market are stronger than any speculations or predictions about price… and there is still movement,”

A fancy colored diamond distributor, who also described the show as “medium” and sales as “a bit too weak,” said that in terms of what was selling, it was mostly “common goods” –mid-range yellows – and buyers that were buying pinks and blues, were buying mainly smaller diamonds. He noted that, true to form, it was buyers from Asian countries like Japan and not from China, that were purchasing natural fancy colored diamonds.

The show’s organizers, CMP Asia, said that the event would see a record of 1,290 exhibitors from 33 countries and regions. The Diamond Pavilion in the expanded Grand Hall hosted upwards of 120 diamond companies in over 250 booths.

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