Gem trade could start to recover in Q3: GJEPC
The global coloured gemstone trade could begin to recover from the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the third quarter of the current financial year and the upper end of the market may have a smoother recovery, gem industry experts agreed at the recent Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council webinar.
As part of its ongoing webinar series on how the gem, diamond, and jewellery industry is handling the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, the GJEPC held an online talk on ‘Coloured Gemstones: The Way Forward’, it announced on its website. The panel included Gemfields CEO, Sean Gilbertson; Sotheby’s worldwide chairman for jewellery, David Bennett; and the GJEPC’s regional chairman for Jaipur Nirmal Kumar Bardiya; and coloured gemstones panel convenor, Vijay Kedia.
The panel agreed that global sentiment is currently low in the gem industry, with many businesses facing a slowdown in the U.S. and Europe, and business in Hong Kong, although now reopened, expected to remain very slow until September or October. The panellists, however, remain hopeful for a recovery in the future, beginning in the third quarter of the 2021 financial year.
Panellists also predicted that the lower end of the market will be highly affected by the lockdown and its disruption to business but the luxury segment will face almost no impact, as luxury customers will still have money to spend. Gem business Gemporia predicted that other luxuries such as travel and fine dining will take longer to restart than the gem and jewellery trade, meaning the latter industry will bounce back, as customers look to spend their surplus and family gift-giving increases.
Some businesses, including Gemfields, shared that they expect losses due to having to postpone auctions. Gemfields also predicted that rough ruby and emerald prices would decline. Quality, design, and telling a story will be important for businesses moving forward, especially in the unorganised sector, panellists agreed.
Speaking for the GJEPC, Kedia said that the gem trade in Jaipur has stocks available and restarting manufacturing will get a boost when flights resume. The GJEPC is focusing on restarting manufacturing and exports and is offering support to daily-wage labourers struggling during lockdown, Bardiya said.
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