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Jaipur Rough Emerald Auction ends with a 148% increase in per carat prices since March 2010

The Middle East accounts for 35 to 40 % of India's gem & jewellery exports, most of which are routed through Dubai

April 3, 2011 1:49 by

The rough emerald and beryl auction held in Jaipur in India recently by Gemfields Plc, concluded with an optimism of greater Middle East participation, with the UAE emerging as a major market for the India’s gems and jewellery exports beating US and Europe.

The auction had the second highest total auction revenues to date, USD 9.9 million. It witnessed a 148% increase in quality-for-quality per carat prices since March 2010.

The Middle East accounts for 35 to 40 per cent of India’s gem and jewellery exports, most of which are routed through Dubai. Auction results underscore rising global demand for Gemfields’ ethical Zambian emeralds.

Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields said: “Gemfields is very pleased with the results in Jaipur. The overwhelming interest in attending Gemfields’ auctions provides sound evidence of an increase in demand for our products across all grades and all markets. Moreover, it is encouraging to see the enthusiasm and positive response of our downstream clients and partners in furthering Gemfields’ vision of bringing to market a consistent and reliable supply of rough emeralds from a responsibly and ethically operated source. Our marketing programmes are working for our clients, and they’re clearly working for us.”

The UAE takes a big portion of this global demand from an end user’s perspective. Expectations revealed that the Arab participation at the July 2011 auction of rough emeralds will reflect better pricing for end users in the Arab world in the sense that it will give the chance of purchasing the raw material directly from the auction.

The total year-to-date revenue from rough emerald auctions now stands at USD 37 million. Six auctions held since July 2009 have generated revenues totalling USD 55.7 million.

48 companies were invited to attend the most recently concluded auction, with 44 of them placing bids for the material on offer. The auction saw 16.83 million carats placed on offer, with 12.98 million carats being sold and generating record lower quality auction sales of USD 9.9 million.

When compared with the lower quality auction held in March 2010, per carat prices showed a 148% increase from USD 0.31 per carat to USD 0.77 per carat. This provides a clear indication of robust growth in both prices and demand for emeralds in general, and Gemfields ethical emeralds in particular, across all regions and all sectors.

The Jaipur auction was also used as a platform to test the levels of demand for rough amethyst derived from Gemfields’ 50% owned Kariba amethyst mine in Zambia. The results of the test were encouraging and Gemfields expects to sell significant quantities of rough amethyst into this market.

Gemfields’ next auction of (predominantly higher quality) rough emeralds is scheduled for July 2011. Jaipur is the first planned city of India, located in the semi-desert lands of Rajasthan.

The global market for gems and jewellery items was around US$85 billion, with annual growth of between 5 and 10 per cent. Harebottle predicted that the coloured stones market in the UAE will expand faster than other jewellery category in the next five years.

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