Cambodia exported over $418.29 million worth of gemstones and jewellery to the international market last year, said a Ministry of Commerce report.
Singapore was Cambodia’s largest export market, worth $226 million. Thailand ranked second and imported around $165 million worth of jewellery while the US ranked third and imported more than $23 million, said the report.
Other export destinations included Vietnam ($3.36 million), Belgium ($ 1.15 million), Japan ($110,000), Italy ($1,851) and China ($1,142).
The report measured exports of natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, metals, precious metals, imitation jewellery and coins.
Cambodia also imported more than $194 million worth of gemstones and jewellery to supply local markets last year.
Most of the goods came from Thailand, Singapore, Canada, Belgium and Hong Kong but Cambodia also imported from 16 other destinations, including the US, India, China, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Italy, said the report.
Yek Hon, the owner of Channey Jewelry shop at Central Market in the capital’s Daun Penh district, told The Post on Monday that she had imported platinum and diamonds from Hong Kong to be processed into jewellery.
“I imported jewellery from Hong Kong and used platinum bought locally to process jewellery. My store is focused on processing platinum with diamonds,” said Hon.
She said the global outbreak of Covid-19 is significantly affecting the local jewellery market.
“I noticed that the local jewellery market had sharply declined and I decided to close the shop temporarily because of the Covid-19 disease,” she said.
However, a representative of Pailin Jewelry Co Ltd, who declined to be named, said the international gemstone and jewellery markets are in a good situation as business continues as normal, despite the spread of Covid-19.
“I see that the jewellery market is unaffected, the price of jewellery is stable,” the representative said.
Cambodia currently has two major gold mining companies operating in the northeast region of the country.
Indian-owned mining firm Mesco Gold (Cambodia) Ltd has started construction on a processing plant at its Phum Syarung mine near Peak village in O’Yadav district’s Yatung commune in Ratanakkiri province.
The company has temporarily halted work on the plant due to Covid-19, but it said it’s still on schedule to start refining gold this year.
Emerald Resources NL, the Australian-listed mining firm behind Mondulkiri province’s Okvau gold project, is expected to start its first large-scale gold operation in the Kingdom during the second quarter of next year.