The much anticipated Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2014 recently concluded with subdued atmosphere. The show was organized across two venues – Loose diamond section at AsiaWorld-Expo from September 15 to 19 and Finished jewelry exhibited at Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from September 17 to 21.
Diamond Industry was looking at the show for signals of improvement in buyer sentiment ahead of the holiday and festival season. Organizers for the event – UBM Asia reported that 3,694 exhibitors including 435 diamond companies participated in the show.
Exhibitors were expecting trading to happen at low prices. Traffic at the show was steady in the first two days with visitors enquiring for prices but the trading volume was low. First day of the show also saw few thefts of loose diamonds weighing 3 to 5 carats in separate incidents from Israel Diamond Institute’s pavilion.
Traffic at the exhibition though improved over the next few days. Buyers focused on filing gaps in inventory with individual stone orders and avoided bulk purchases. Manufacturers indicated that demand for goods lesser than 2 carats was steady, and buyers sensing the weak sentiment and pressure of manufacturers, pushed for lower prices for higher than 2-carat stones. The inventory for smaller stones was high since GIA reduced its grading turnaround time in the past few weeks.
Israel Diamond Exchange members reported mixed feelings from the show, and stated that buyers, although buying large in numbers, drove hard bargains for the goods. Israel diamond pavilion saw a high amount of traffic due to the services such as the diamond inventory search program offered by them.
Rapaport News has presented few key learning from the show – Liquidity for manufacturers and dealers was tight. This was sensed by the buyers, and they compared prices and pushed for discounts from distressed sellers. The show presented opportunities for both suppliers and buyers to build relationships. Many exhibitors said they gained strong leads for future business. The trading that exceeded the weak sentiment gave a positive outlook for the upcoming holiday season.
The fair certainly showed that there is demand for diamonds and industry has to be patient to overcome short-term uncertainties. It was also a strong indicator that buyers are in the driving seat and will continue to drive the industry performance.