Jade Prices Spike In Beijing

Price Of Fine Jade Has Risen Over 40 Percent In First Half Of 2011

Many industry analysts blame hot-money speculation for the rising price of jade

Many industry analysts blame hot-money speculation for the rising price of jade

Last month, Jing Daily covered the “jade fever” sweeping through the northeastern Chinese city of Qingdao, which has fueled concerns of a bubble forming in the country’s jade and jadeite markets. As we’ve previously noted, the price of high-quality jade from China’s western Xinjiang Province has risen ten-fold over the past decade, and now can fetch up to US$3,000 per ounce. In Qingdao, due to contributing factors such as increased demand, stricter export controls by manufacturers in Myanmar (Burma) of high-quality jadeite, and market speculation — one Qingdao retailer said earlier this year that she estimates 70-80 percent of her customers to be speculators — prices for jade and jadeite have risen, in some cases, over 400 percent in the last three years alone.

Now, as the Beijing Times writes this week, the same trend is playing out in Beijing. According to Jiao Guangyi, branch manager of the jewelry store Beijing SunGold, the overall price of jade in the Chinese capital has risen over 40 percent in the first half of 2011, with a jade bracelet worth 7,000 yuan (US$1,081) in March now selling for more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,545). “In terms of commodity pricing,” Jiao said, “the rising cost of jade is an extremely clear trend.” Jiao added that the price spike is even more dramatic in the high-end jade and jadeite segment, with prices for certain top-quality pieces more than doubling this year. At this rate, Jiao said, a particular piece that retailed for 300,000 yuan (US$46,340) last December could sell for 800,000 yuan (US$123,575) by year’s end.

Jiao’s observations were shared by the manager of Hengchang Jewelry, a Mr. Bai, who said prices for low-end to mid-range jade have risen no less than 30 percent this year, while high-end jade has doubled in price.

According to Jiao Guangyi, a shortage of top-quality raw jade from Myanmar is a major contributing factor for the spike in prices, although he tells the Beijing Times that he can’t rule out “hot-money speculation”. While China’s jade fever — or jade bubble, depending on who you ask — may be good for auction houses and jewelry stores, it’s hitting consumers where it hurts.

 

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