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2015 Hong Kong Jewellery Fair

Just back from the September 2015 Hong Kong Jewellery Fair. I think international fairs like this are excellent barometers not only of the international Jewellery market but also the world economy in general.

With the Chinese slowdown the talk of the town it was no wonder that the general sentiment at the fair was mixed and for some decidedly downbeat. Of course it wasn’t just the Chinese economy that was on the tip of everyone’s lips. The fact that the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to keep rates at all time lows didn’t do anything to spur people’s enthusiasm either. And you can understand why. Because if the Fed wasn’t willing to increase rates by a measly 0.25% it doesn’t bode well for the strength of the supposed US economic recovery, does it?

But back to Jewellery. The general feedback I got from the diamond dealers was that trade was very slow. Of course the finest quality stones and stones of exceptional fancy colour and size still found buyers but general goods did not find homes easily. The bigger dealers said that trade was acceptable but margins were tight. Smaller diamond dealers reported that the bigger player push in margins had dented their success at the fair. The biggest missing link this year would have to be Mainland Chinese buyers – dealers reported that many of their mainland buyers stayed home and licked their wounds in light of the margin calls they were enduring in the light of the recent Chinese stock market dive.

Silver Jewellery and Fashion Jewellery dealers seems to be the most downbeat at the fair. Indeed many of these dealers packed up early on the last day of the fair citing poor sales as the reason for an early mark to get home. If there were winners at the fair they would have had to be lower to medium priced gold Jewellery and component dealers. Perhaps buoyed by the lower gold price (in U.S. terms at least), the increased interest in these products was a definite high note of the fair.

Another highlight was the interest in technology and machinery. Although there was no hugely noteworthy technology released at the fair, it seems that lots of people from all around the world were keen to improve their manufacturing technique perhaps in response to the challenging business environment and in an effort to stand out from their competitors.

So that’s the round up from your intrepid reporter. I think it’s just a case of heads down and bums up!

Written by
Andrew Cochineas
Chief Executive Officer