Increased competition from a regional auction and high floor prices are being blamed for the reduced earnings from the recently completed Jade, Gems and Pearl Special Sales 2011 in Nay Pyi Taw.
Despite an increase in visitor numbers and a higher number of sales of lots than at the 48th Myanma Gem Emporium in mid-March, revenues from the July 1-13 auction amounted to 1.1 billion euros, or about US$1.58 billion, a Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) official said last week.
In comparison, the March emporium recorded sales worth $2.8 billion, a fall in revenues of about 46 percent.
“The number of attendees, the amount of items up for sale, and overall sales at the July auction were the highest we’ve recorded.
“But total revenues were lower than at the 48th Gem Emporium,” he said, adding that the 7th Kunming-ASEAN Gem Emporium that ran from July 10 to 18 in China had attracted a number of big spenders.
One Chinese trader said floor prices for the jade lots had been set too high.
“Local jade companies set their floor prices for jade lots too high and international buyers couldn’t afford to pay that much,” he said. “I think the emporium was not especially competitive. I hope floor prices will be lower at the next auction.”
However, a Myanmar Gems Enterprise spokesperson said 78 percent of all jade lots displayed at the sale had been sold.
“We exhibited 22,317 jade lots and 17,449 jade lots were sold, or 78pc of all lots available.
“We only sold 13,608 jade lots during the last gem emporium,” he said.
A Myanmar Pearl Enterprise official said gem and pearl sales had also climbed.
“We sold 38 gem and 288 pearl lots at the special sale, compared with 30 and 255 respectively during the gem emporium in March,” he said.
U Moe Myint Wai, an exhibitor from Yangon, said uncut jade pieces didn’t receive much attention during the show, attributing the lack of interest to the extra work and money required to prepare the blocks for resale.
The state-run Mirror newspaper reported on July 15 that the Myanmar-based Ruby Dragon Company had purchased the most lots, with Ms Zhang Baoling from China the second-largest buyer.