|Registration on opening day at the materials portion of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. Photo Credit: UBM Asia|
This portion of the show (which is held at two venues) was hosted at the Asia World-Expo. It hosts the largest diamond pavilion in the world, the largest gemstone marketplace in Asia and a pavilion representing all of the major pearl regions. It also includes jewelry-making equipment and displays and boxes for jewels.
The diamond industry has had a difficult year and going into the show expectations were low.
“The diamond industry in general, like a lot of other commodities, was geared toward rapid Chinese growth. Now things have slowed which created a lot of inventory,” Russell Shor, senior industry analyst with the Gemological Institute of America, said prior to the fair. “What you’re going to see is cautious buying and hard bargaining on prices. They have an idea of what they can sell for the year and they are not going to take a chance on buying anything extra…. It’s a buyer’s market.”
However, during the fair, he said most dealers “did better than expected.”
Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said in a statement the fair turned out to be good sign for dealers.
“The Hong Kong show, due to the global nature of its exhibitors, buyers and visitors, serves as a useful barometer of industry sentiment, so it is very promising that demand at the fair was stable.”
In the colored gem area, Gary Roskin, executive director of the International Colored Gemstone Association, said about 100 members exhibiting in a pavilion managed by the organization, another 100 vendors in the 22 country pavilions and about 200 members attending as buyers.
“With the Chinese economy slowing down, our ICA members came in with modest expectations. However, like any trade show, some of our ICA exhibitors had very good shows despite the economic news. There were also a number of our members who were happy to see established clients return to place good orders, while a few ICA members mentioned actually meeting new clients who saved the show.”
He adds, “As an exhibitor, you have to be at the shows consistently, in good times and bad, so that you establish yourself as a reliable company.”
The most crowded part of the show was the equipment area, where throngs of people were viewing everything from 3D printers to finishing and polishing equipment.
Wolfram Diener, senior VP of UBM Asia, said this was promising for the industry because it shows that jewelers and manufacturers expect to do more business. If not, many wouldn’t be looking to upgrade their equipment.
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