Gemfields COVID-19 Impact Dampens Lusaka Emerald Auction Underlying Demand Stable


Gemfields Group announced yesterday that the results of its recent auction of predominantly commercial quality rough emerald held in Lusaka, Zambia from February 18-21, 2020 was in line with prior outcomes, though the fallout of COVID-19 dampened what might otherwise have been a buoyant result.

The company said that revenue from the auction was US$ 11.5 million with 76% of the lots (19 out of 25) being sold which amounted to 64% of the carats offered. The auction, in which 29 companies placed bids, delivered an average price of US$ 4.01 per carat.

A total revenue of US$ 647 million has been generated from the 35 auctions of Kagem gemstones held since July 2009. However, the specific auction mix and the quality of the lots offered at each auction vary in characteristics such as size, colour and clarity on account of variations in mined production and market demand, making comparisons “not always comparable”.

Announcing that the proceeds of this auction will be fully repatriated to Kagem in Zambia, Gemfields said that all royalties due to the Government of the Republic of Zambia will be paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction.

Adrian Banks, Gemfields’ Managing Director of Product & Sales, commented: “The results of our first auction of 2020 are in line with prior auctions of commercial quality emeralds and demonstrate a stable underlying market. It was however evident that the fallout of COVID-19 – the corona virus – dampened what might otherwise have been a buoyant result.”

Commenting on the impact of the coronavirus, he added, “Firstly, the uncertainty surrounding Chinese consumer demand in the wake of COVID-19 has understandably created negative sentiment in the mid-stream market. Secondly, a handful of our key auction customers did not travel to Lusaka as a result of the increased risk associated with COVID-19 and thirdly, the Hong Kong market – important for both gemstones and jewellery – has had to endure multiple successive misfortunes.”

News Source : gjepc

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