Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair opens, strong enquiries
ANTWERP, January 27, 2013 – The Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair opened on January 27, with exhibitors reporting strong enquiries from international retail buyers, wholesalers and manufacturers despite a fragile global economy.
Buyers from China, the Middle East, Europe and other regions inspected goods at more than 80 booths in the Antwerp diamond district during the event, which runs until January 29.
Diamond dealers voiced a mood of caution due to the economic crisis. They said deals were being done when buyers had specific requirements for stones.
“People will buy at good prices if they are looking for particular specifications of stones,” said Bert Jan Schatz, managing director of Benelux Diamonds.
He said that the overall mood was cautious because of the weak global economy, but noted that eastern Europe and Asia were bright spots for demand.
Tom Smets of SMETS diamant said buyers were prudent because retail jewellers were unwilling to raise their prices as precious metals costs had risen.
He and other diamantaires attending the event noted brisk demand for both lower quality and high quality goods, but added that the middle segment was being squeezed due to the challenging economic conditions.
The Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair is a major networking selling event, with the bulk of transactions expected to take place after the fair, diamantaires said.
“Some seventy percent of the buying is done after the event: that is when the real hard work starts,” said Biren Jhaveri, a sales executive with Antwerp-based DIANCO.
“Diamond prices have been stable over the last six months, and are expected to remain stable over the next six months too.”
Demand from manufacturers for natural fancy colour diamonds was steady, with buoyant enquiries from Britain and Germany, said Paresh, a dealer with Antwerp-based Fancy Jewels b.v.b.a.
Rahul Zaveri of GEM IMPEX Bvba, who was selling emerald, rubies and sapphires as well as diamonds, said demand for coloured gemstones was buoyant, driven by the Far East.