The seventh edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) ended on Tuesday, with many exhibitors saying the show was quiet this year, reflecting the state of the diamond and jewelry industry worldwide.
The show again took place in the trading halls of three of the city's diamond exchanges – the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Antwerp Diamond Kring.
The GIA has extended the submission date for the confirmation service announced on November 25 to March 31 in response to concerns expressed by members of the trade. Anyone with a GIA grading report originally issued between November 2014 and October 2015 who is concerned about the validity of the report due to the unauthorized changes to grading reports uncovered in October 2015 may submit the original report and the referenced diamond to any GIA location for the confirmation service at no charge until the March 31 deadline for submissions, the GIA said in a statement.
The January VICENZAORO show opened on Friday, featuring 1,500 brands from 30 countries. This year’s theme is the 'The Golden Voices' of the jewelry industry which focuses on corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability in the supply chain. In addition, several projects and workshops are being held to facilitate contacts and investments among different regions, with a special focus on the United Arab Emirates, China and Russia, with dedicated workshops and events. In 2015, the value of Italian jewelry exports grew by 11% on the year to 4.2 billion euros.
With demand for polished diamonds weak around the world, and stable at best in the United States, the organizers of the 33rd edition of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair forecast only very minor increases in exhibitor and visitor/buyer numbers. UBM Asia says it expects around 3,700 companies and 60,000 visitors/buyers to take part in the September 16-20 show for loose diamond exhibitors at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), and the September 18-22 show for finished jewelry at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
With the Shanghai stock market battered again on Monday, the effect is being felt around the world with the Australian bourse losing losing $20 billion within an hour of opening on Monday and European exchanges expected to decline following the biggest decline for several years on Wall Street on Friday as the slowdown in the Chinese economy causes fears around the globe.
While many have been rushing to write off the euro, given the sovereign debt problems affecting several members of the eurozone in recent years and the ongoing turmoil regarding Greece, a leading analyst, Peter Schiff, points out that the single currency has survived for 16 years despite claims on many occasions that it would sink.
The US economy has rebounded after a winter freeze-over, with firms adding more than 200,000 jobs a month, and consumer confidence at a post-recession high leading people to spend more. The American economy is forecast to expand by close to 3% in the second quarter after a 0.2% decline in the first three months of the year, according to a MarketWatch survey of economists.
Panicking Greeks are buying everything from jewelry to fridges in order to have tangible assets in case their country exits the eurozone and financial chaos ensues.
One jeweler describes how he turned doan an offer from a customer to buy more than $1 million of jewels, preferring to hold on to the jewelry than have the money in a Greek bank.
HK luxury watch retailers are said to be cutting prices after sales plunged by at least 40 percent in the first three months of this year. The drop, caused largely by customers abandoning Hong Kong for the cheaper eurozone, thanks to a euro no longer held high by the Swiss franc, left retailers in the former British colony with unsold stocks that reached an "incalculably high level" of six to 10 months for some brands.
Six members of the managing board of ABN Amro, a major financier of the diamond industry, are to give up on their $108,000 bonus for last year after public protests. The bank was nationalized in 2008, but plans to go public again, possibly this year.
"We understand and regret the turbulence that has arisen," the board wrote in a statement. "The turbulence is detrimental to our clients, our employees and the public’s trust in ABN Amro."
Germany led the highest rise increase in private sector activity since May 2011, according to one survey, while others show that the 19-member bloc seems to be pulling out a considerable period of near standstill, helped by lower oil prices, a decline in the value of the euro which is helping exports and the European Central Bank’s launch of a large-scale economic stimulus program.