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Chanthaburi . 2008-07-28
Gemstone market news
Ruby update
Since a few months, some external factors affect rough ruby supply in our market. Myanmar, traditional supplier of Chanthaburi market mainly thought Mae Sai (North Thailand) faces serious problems

Since a few months, some external factors affect rough ruby supply in our market.
Myanmar, traditional supplier of Chanthaburi market mainly through Mae Sai (North Thailand) faces serious problems.
The cyclone Nargis which devastated one fourth of the Burmese territory including main rice fields left millions of people homeless. This followed a big increase in prices for essential commodities.
On top of this the rising of military young Turks" craving for power and unhappy by the harsh treatment imposed by the actual junta to hungry demonstrators pushed in the streets by price hikes, leave a lot of uncertainty for the future.
Mines owners, with operations already hit by rising petrol prices, stopped quite completely their production and took away their remaining stock from negotiation tables to hidden safes.
Nowadays only little medium to commercial grade, stockpiled mainly in Mae Sai is being processed and marketed in our town.
Second main supplier for ruby rough is Madagascar.
After a robbery involving some people around the actual president, the government stopped all rough corundum exports, hitting not only our market but also local miners.
It is sure that exports will have to resume but nobody knows when...
These factors would have caused a big hike in prices but surprisingly they just increased very little thanks to the entry of a new player in the ruby market: Tanzania.
New mines there are producing some clear crystals, mainly of these already having a nice color thus with no need of thermal treatment.
These stones are filling the gap left by the shortage of Burma material.
With the exception of this new material, the Chanthaburi ruby production is actually concentrated in low grade lead glass rubies and will go on with this material as long as the strong international (principally from India) demand will last.

Source : Roger Pingley
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