Jade sales at 54th Gem Emporium down due to poorer quality

The jade exhibition, which opened on August 2 at the Mani Yadana Jade Hall in Nay Pyi Taw, closed August 11 after raking in €518 million worth of gems sold through an open tender system. A total of 105 out of 326 gem lots were sold for €3.07 million, while 5,092 out of 6,561 jade lots were sold for €515 million, U Min Thu said.

Last year, the emporium raked in a total of €533 million versus the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation’s target of €1billion in sales. In 2015, sales totaled more than €900 million.

However, at the 53rd emporium, jade, gems and pearls were exhibited for both open tender and auction sales, while only jade and gems were put up for sale under an open tender system at this year’s emporium.

“This year’s jade quality was different compared to last year’s. Sales volume depends on [the] quality of jade. There was better quality jade at the 53rd emporium. Jade lots with high floor prices were not sold out,” U Min Thu said.

This year, a total of 6,561 jade lots were put up for sale. That included 20 processed jade and 20 lots of State-owned crude jade, 2,900 lots of crude jade by State-joint ventured companies, 3,545 lots of crude jade owned by private firms, 25 lots of fine jade works by the private sector and three grand cots decorated with jade. The remaining gems were non-jade.

Of those, 22 quality jade lots were on offer, with prices ranging between €1 million and €12 million. Out of them, only jade lots of €1 million to €3 million were sold. The remaining jade lots could not be sold, according to some officials.

“If [the] floor price is high, people are not interested. They are interested in jades of floor price at €4000, €5000, €40,000, €50,000 and €80,000. For jade above €1 million, they are less interested. More are interested only if the floor price is reduced. Therefore, they were not sold out,” said U Win Aung, a local jade trader.

In addition, local merchants cannot compete with Chinese merchants in buying quality jade because Chinese merchants can pay more, local traders said.

“Myanmar buyers cannot get them [high-quality jade] and only Chinese merchants can buy them. Local buyers only get low-quality jade such as raw jade suitable for making bracelets. High-quality ones [jade] which can make sculptures and necklaces were bought by Chinese merchants,” said one jade merchant from Mandalay.

All sales generated at the emporium are liable to government taxes. The mineral sector contributes the lion’s share of the government’s earnings.

The first Myanmar Gems Emporium took place in 1964.

Source: Myanmar Times

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