Diamantaires left the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair on Sunday relatively satisfied with trading in the loose-diamond section, as traffic increased during the five-day event.

Buyer traffic rose from last year, and there was steady demand for specific items, such as 1- to 2-carat, G- to J-color, VVS2- to SI2-clarity stones, dealers reported. They also reported steady demand for 0.30- to 0.50-carat, F- to K-color, SI-clarity diamonds. Buyers were pushing for lower prices, but on the whole, suppliers did not yield.

Sentiment is better than last year, but everyone is trying to get a bargain,” said Vincent Yiu, a manager at Hong Kong-based diamond manufacturer Brilliant Trading Company.

I’ve spoken to many suppliers, and most of them say they are seeing their old customers, who all want to buy cheaper,” added Lawrence Ma, chairman of the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong.

Dealers were hoping the show would stimulate stronger polished-diamond prices after the summer vacation period, when trading is traditionally slower. Diamond prices have softened in 2017, with the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds down 3.8% in the first eight months of the year. The index stayed basically stable during the week of the show.

It hasn’t been a game-changer, and we’re seeing a continuation of the status quo,” said one India-based market observer at the fair.

The loose-diamond section of the show, which took place at the AsiaWorld Expo, closed on Sunday, with traffic up 6.1% over the first two days of the event compared to last year, reported Celine Lau, director of jewelry affairs at show organizer UBM Asia. She noted an increase in visitors from China, India, the Philippines and Brazil.