Retailers are stocking up…conservatively. Meanwhile, blue sapphires remain red-hot.
The short-term outlook for the retail market is good. Retailers are preparing for the holiday season and ordering inventory. However, wholesale dealers report that early September buying indicates stock building is modest at best. As one gemstone wholesaler said of retailers: “The supply model is outdated and does not function well in the current economy. Clients want inventory, but only at unreasonable terms. Suppliers can no longer finance the entire length of the distribution channel.” The lack of credit available to the trade continues to negatively impact growth. However, for firms who find themselves on a solid financial footing, the current market provides strong buying opportunities.
In the colored stone market, prices for finer-quality material remain
stable to higher. Lower production and higher demand in Eastern markets
has worked to hold prices higher for many gem varieties. Blue sapphire
continues to be the top-selling colored stone in the U.S. market. Other
sellers include green tourmaline, red tourmaline, blue zircon,
spessartite garnet, peridot, and tanzanite.