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Myanmar Consolidated Media

Latest jade, gem expo earns $900m in sales

By Win Ko Ko Latt
Volume 31, No. 609
January 9 - 15, 2012

SALES of gems and jade at Myanmar Gems Enterprise’s mid-year Gems Emporium that ended on January 3 earned a total of about 700 million euros, or US$903 million, an official told The Myanmar Times on January 5.

However, the earnings were significantly less than the $2.9 billion recorded during an emporium in December 2010.

“The majority of the most expensive lots up for auction were bought by Chinese gems traders but local traders bought tender lots,” he said.

Nearly 12,000 jade lots were displayed at the 11-day emporium, which started on December 24, as well as 230 gems and 270 pearl lots. The event attracted 1600 foreign visitors and 3700 Myanmar traders. In all nearly 8300 jade lots were sold, while 39 gem and 212 pearls lots also found buyers.

“The highest price recorded at the emporium for a single jade lot was 7.2 million euros [about $9.3 million]. We also sold 55 jade lots for more than 1 million euros each,” the enterprise official said.

Gem traders said the reasons for lower overall sales was the raising of a tax on jade and gems bought from Myanmar by the Chinese government, as well as higher minimum deposits imposed by the government.

In October last year the Chinese government boosted taxes on gems and jade bought from Myanmar to 35 percent, up from 10pc previously.

The government imposed a minimum deposits of 50,000 euros on all bids, replacing the old system were bids less than 1 million euros required only 10,000 euros.

A gem trader from Muse in Shan State who bought 1 million euros of jade said the measures had been put in place to discourage non-paying bidders.

“I think the government raised minimum deposits because some gem traders bought jades and gems at previous auction at high prices but did not follow through with their deals later. I think they were just speculating,” he said.

“But local traders had a lot of opportunities to buy good pieces at this emporium.”