• Jewelry buyers from PH, other emerging markets grow

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    BUYER attendance from emerging markets, including the Philippines, “recorded a considerable increase” in the recently concluded two international jewelry shows held in Hong Kong, where items with more affordable prices becoming popular among those who go for trendy fashion jewelry. This is also an affirmation that this autonomous territory, in southeastern China, is indeed a hub for promotion and sourcing for the jewelry industry.

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    Citing an independent onsite survey that it commissioned during the shows, the HKTDC or Hong Kong Trade Development Council said 56-percent of the 1,300 buyers and exhibitors who were interviewed expect a steady overall sales for this year, while 28-percent see an increase; prices, however, are seen by 69-percent of the respondents to remain steady while 23-percent say these will rise.

    Top view of the booths at Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show

    An organizer of trade fairs and promotional activities, HKTDC put up the 34th Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, which ran from March 2 to 6 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, along Victoria Harbour; and the fourth edition of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, which opened its five-day run on Tuesday, February 28, at the AsiaWorld-Expo, in HK International Airport, on Lantau Island.

    It said in a statement that besides Filipinos, increased numbers of buyers from the Chinese mainland, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, among other emerging markets, came over, “reflecting their market potential.” It stressed: “The local jewelry industry should not overlook these opportunities.”

    Young ladies modeling some pieces of jewelry

    The organizer’s deputy executive director, Benjamin Chau, reported that the shows featured about 4,480 exhibitors and attracted over 85,000 buyers from 144 countries and regions, a 6-percent increase from a year earlier. He said more than 33,000 buyers visited the Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, while some 52,000 visitors came for the Jewellery Show.

    “Despite economic challenges, especially in the luxury goods market, the two shows attracted a record number of buyers,” Chau said in a statement. “The exhibitors are also generally satisfied with the results at the two shows. “This demonstrates that the jewelry industry remains confident about business prospects this year, reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as a proven global promotion and sourcing hub for the industry.”

    Items with more affordable prices in the product categories and product materials will be more popular, the HKTDC said, referring to its survey. It added that many respondents (72-percent) express optimism about the prospects of trendy fashion jewelry (product categories), followed by jewelry for weddings and special occasions and precious jewelry. Forty-three percent of respondents, meanwhile, expect karat white gold (product materials) to be the most that buyers would take home.

    It added that products priced at between $101 and $500 would have the greatest potential for 2017, followed by products within the price range of $501 to $1,000.

    Respondents who are biased toward precious raw materials like pure gold and platinum were at 19-percent and 10-percent, respectively, according to HKTDC. For the gemstones, 41-percent of the respondents say diamonds will have the greatest potential for this year, followed by the aquamarine at 14-percent, and emerald at 13-percent.

    For the jewelry industry’s major challenges, respondents point out fluctuations in global economy, prices of raw materials, exchange rates, and an increase in operating costs.          BUTCH FRANCO

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