The 31st edition of the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair lived up to its reputation as the industry’s most valuable midyear sourcing platform, with exhibitors reporting decent demand from professional trade buyers.
The June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair saw a nearly 10 percent increase in visitors this year as professional trade buyers sourced for their needs in the second half of the year.
The 31st edition of the fair welcomed 28,131 unique visitors over its four-day run from June 21 to 24, 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, a 9.7 percent increase over last year’s show. Of the total, 18,589 visitors were from overseas, representing a 14.7 percent increase over year-ago numbers. The top five visiting countries and regions outside of Hong Kong were China, India, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. The 2018 June Fair featured 1,998 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions.
“The June Fair is further reinforcing its position as a powerful platform for precious materials suppliers, jewellery manufacturers and buyers who want to stay on top of trends, gain market insights and capture opportunities during the peak buying months,” said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs at show organiser UBM Asia Ltd.
Exhibitors noted that buyer activity at the show largely reflected the market’s cautious approach towards spending and inventory, with demand generally stronger for smaller, sellable items.
Indian diamantaire J. B. And Brothers Pvt Ltd entertained varied requests from clients at the show. Sunil Kumar Gupta, the company’s head for Marketing & Strategy, remarked that buyers’ purchases were largely dictated by customer requirements. “Demand was good and mixed, with clients asking for diamonds from 1 carat to even 10 carats in D to F colours in VS to SI1 clarity grades. They were not buying for stock. Instead, they were seeking out very specific goods requested by their customers,” Gupta disclosed.
Fischler Diamonds Asia Ltd had a “decent to good” June Fair, according to its president Michel Fischler. He said, “In our specialty, the fast movers were the VS to SI pointers – the 30, 40 and 50 points – from D to J colour. We deal mainly with jewellery manufacturers, people who use the goods and bring these to the end user.”
Israeli diamantaires also reported good traffic at the fair. G. Arabov Diamonds Ltd said demand was solid for diamonds of 1 carat to 5 carats in fancy colours from buyers from Hong Kong and India, among others.
Phatipan Eakthongchai, co-owner of Milin Triple B Co Ltd, cited rubies from 3 carats and below as his company’s bestsellers. “China, our top market, now gravitates towards smaller stones but of top quality. Jewellery manufacturers currently favour calibrated and smaller single stones since bigger goods would make their finished jewellery pieces too expensive for consumers,” he said. The Thailand-based gemstone manufacturer specialises in rubies and heated sapphires from 30 points to 10 carats.
Buyers indeed had very clear objectives at the June Fair. Malaysian chain store LiTZ Goldsmith & Jewellery Sdn Bhd sought fine-quality diamonds of up to 1 carat as well as rubies and sapphires in special cuts. The company has seven stores in Malaysia that sell loose diamonds, rubies and sapphires. “People now prefer jewellery with character,” revealed Managing Director Soh Lip Sim.
Pearls, particularly golden and black ones, topped the shopping list of Hong Kong retailer Susanna Creation. Company owner Susanna Mak was also sourcing for mid- to high-quality rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
Mariya Safronova, who heads the sales department of Russian chain store Cacholong, was on the lookout for elegant fine jewellery pieces with diamonds and coloured gemstones. Cacholong, which has 50 stores across Russia, sells gold and silver jewellery with diamonds and coloured gemstones, she said.
Juan Miguel Mimica Huidobro of Chilean wholesaler Algarrobo has been visiting the June Fair for over two decades. This time around, he was focusing primarily on coloured gemstones including garnets and tanzanite stones. Another June Fair regular was Kiran Jayantilal Chauhan, president and CEO of Philippine distributor Kiralyds Enterprises. As his company supplies loose diamonds and diamond jewellery to local showrooms, Chauhan was after affordable, mid-quality diamonds as well as elegant diamond jewellery pieces.