Jade prices in Myanmar halve as demand dwindles amid COVID-19

Jades sales have taken a hit as a result of poor demand from China in the wake of COVID-19 and prices of the green mineral have halved in recent months, local gems traders said.

“Demand from China has fallen. We understand that the Chinese government does not encourage investments or trade in this area,” said U Thein Win secretary of the Mandalay Yadanar Mall Gems Entrepreneurs Development Committee.

Meanwhile, production of high-quality jade in Hpakant, Kachin State, has also declined amid the pandemic. “There are just a few active jade miners currently, even though small-scale jade mining blocks have been granted, said U Zay Lwan, chair of the Kachin State Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association.

As a result, commercial-quality jade has become more affordable in the market, said U Aung Kyaw Zin, vice chair of the Yangon Region Gems and Jewellery Association.

The other reason for the lower demand is the cancelling of gems emporiums, where jade is legally auctioned to foreign buyers. Before COVID-19, Myanmar typically held large-scale emporiums twice a year in Nay Pyi Taw. Other jade and gems fairs in Yangon, Mandalay and Myitkyina have also been called off, although there have been enquiries on when these will resume, said U Aung Kyaw Zin.

The majority of Myanmar jade is exported to China.

As a result, the Myanmar government has potentially lost billions in revenue from having to suspend this year’s gems emporiums due to the outbreak of COVID-19, U Zaw Bo Khant, vice chair of the Myanmar Gems and Jewelry Entrepreneurs Association, told the Myanmar Times recently. Each fair typically draws revenues of €500 million each.

As the state receives a 40 percent share of total emporium sales in the form of taxes, its revenue has declined about €400 million this year.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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