Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the fourth Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show (28 February-4 March) and the 34th Hong Kong International Jewellery Show (2-6 March) concluded successfully.
The two shows featured about 4,480 exhibitors, and attracted over 85,000 buyers from 144 countries and regions, up six per cent over last year. More than 33,000 buyers visited the Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, while some 52,000 visitors attended the Jewellery Show.
“Despite economic challenges, especially in the luxury goods market, the two shows attracted a record number of buyers. The exhibitors are also generally satisfied with the results at the two shows,” said Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director, HKTDC.
“This demonstrates that the jewellery industry remains confident about business prospects this year, reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as a proven global promotion and sourcing hub for the industry, as well as the success of our ‘two shows, two venues’ format. Analysing the buyer statistics this year, we can see that buyer attendance from emerging markets recorded a considerable increase, such as the Chinese mainland as well as Malaysia and the Philippines from ASEAN and Russia, Turkey and Iran on the Belt and Road. The double-digit growth of buyer attendance from these regions reflects their market potential. The local jewellery industry should not overlook these opportunities.”
Survey: Industry cautious about general market prospects
The HKTDC commissioned an independent onsite survey during the two shows, interviewing more than 1,300 buyers and exhibitors about their views on market prospects and product trends.
The survey found that 56 per cent of the respondents expect overall sales this year to be steady, while 28 per cent expect an increase; whereas 69 per cent expect prices to be steady and 23 per cent expect them to rise. For both product categories and product materials, survey respondents expect items with more affordable prices will be more popular. In terms of product categories, survey respondents are mostly optimistic about the prospects of trendy fashion jewellery (72%), followed by jewellery for weddings and special occasions (58%) and precious jewellery (58%).
In terms of price range, 54 per cent of the respondents expect products priced from US$101-US$500 to have the greatest potential this year, followed by products in the US$501-US$1,000 (51%) price range. For product materials, 43 per cent of the respondents expect karat white gold to be in greatest demand this year, followed by karat rose gold (33%) and karat yellow gold (23%).
Meanwhile, respondents favouring more precious raw materials such as pure gold and platinum were lower at 19 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
As for gemstones, 41 per cent of the respondents believe diamonds will have the greatest potential this year, the highest among gemstones though it is lower than last year’s 54 per cent. This is followed by aquamarine (14%) and emerald (13%).
The survey also charted industry’s views on business operations this year. The respondents mostly expect that the major challenge will come from global economic fluctuations (49%), followed by price fluctuations of raw materials (41%), fluctuations of exchange rates (29%) and increases in operating costs (28%). Most of the respondents are optimistic about the Chinese mainland market (63%), followed by the North American market (54%) and Western Europe market (52%).
Twin Jewellery Shows Help Hong Kong companies explore markets
Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), the International Jewellery Show featured premier jewellery from around the world, providing an important business hub for Hong Kong’s jewellery enterprises.
Karen Cheung, Head of Sales & Marketing of Continental Holdings Ltd, said that their buyer traffic at the fair was better than last year. Other than strengthening their relationship with existing clients, they also met with new buyers from Russia and the United Kingdom.
The local jewellery design brand On Tai Jewellery has participated in the International Jewellery Show for a number of years to look for more new buyers. The third generation of the family business and designer Lisa Lee said that they met with buyers from Australia, the Chinese mainland, Italy and Taiwan on the first day of the show.
A buyer even placed orders on the spot. Heidi Gygax, Sourcing Manager of Na Hoku, Inc. from the United States said that the International Jewellery Show is a barometer of the latest product trends, providing plenty of new designs. She placed an order for pearl and gemstone jewellery totaling US$50,000 from at least two Hong Kong exhibitors. The buyer Bahram Fathi, Manager of Hassan’s Jewellery from Kuwait, bought US$450,000 worth of diamonds from a Hong Kong supplier at the Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show. He also said the Jewellery Show gathers the latest designs, and he expects to buy US$100,000 worth of jewellery at the show. He plans to visit the show again next year.
Important hub for overseas exhibitors
The Japanese exhibitor Crossfor has been promoting their patented “Dancing Stone” setting technique and holding jewellery award presentations during the Jewellery Show since 2011.
Hidetaka Dobashi, CEO of the company, stated that, as intellectual property in Hong Kong is well-protected, it is perfect for promoting their patented setting technique.
Participating in the Jewellery Show helps them raise brand awareness and promote their technique to the industry, effectively attracting more licensees.
MKS Jewelry International Co., Ltd. from Thailand is also a long-time exhibitor at the Jewellery Show. Farhan M. Baqri, Sales Manager of the Company, said that their products attracted many buyers from Europe, Middle East, South Africa and the US, and 10 buyers placed orders on the spot on the first two days of the show. They hope to apply for a larger booth next year.
Effective sourcing and network-building
This is the fourth time that the HKTDC has adopted the “two shows, two venues” format for the twin jewellery shows, with the Jewellery Show held at the HKCEC housing finished jewellery and the Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show held at the AsiaWorld-Expo focusing on
jewellery raw materials.
For both exhibitors and buyers, it is much more effective to source and connect with potential business partners. Imran Khan, CEO of Sparkle Gems, said that they completed a number of orders during the fair period, including an order of more than US$2 million worth of tanzanite by a Chinese mainland buyer.
He said that the demand for tanzanite and emerald is strong, especially for buyers from the mainland and across Asia. They plan on returning to the show next year.
Chang Hatta, Chairman of the Hatta New World Co. Ltd. from Taiwan, said that a lot of buyers from the mainland, Middle East, Europe and Russia visited their booth and were keen to buy at the show. More importantly, the show provides the ideal networking platform for the company to strengthen their relationship with clients.
Jain Kirnesh Amritial, Managing Director of KamiRus from Russia, stated that through the business matching services they had met with a Belgian diamond supplier. They wish to place an order of US$200,000-US$300,000 worth of diamonds and jewellery.
He said he was glad to have shared his views at the buyer forum on the development of the Russian market and to have met with more buyers and exhibitors.
During the two shows, a number of networking receptions were organised to provide a rich exhibition experience for both exhibitors and buyers, including the Gala Dinner sponsored by the Tanzanite Foundation, seminars exploring diamond and gemstone grading and analysing product trends, buyer forums, jewellery craftsmanship demonstration, jewellery parades and cocktail receptions.
About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.
For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus