Is the emerald business thriving in Colombia?

Fedesmeraldas explains how much money the sector moved in the first half of this year and the concerns that surround the legal stability for mineral production.

Currently, the Colombian emerald market enjoys good recognition in the world, something like the coffee grown and harvested in the country. This mineral has become one of the most iconic and relevant products for different foreign and national investors and buyers.

Oscar Baquero, President of Fedesmeraldas assured that the industry continues to move
millions of dollars a year, since Colombian emeralds are considered superior products to those that can be found in other countries that are also natural producers.

“Undoubtedly, as a product, Colombian emeralds are more superior to those that can be found in other parts of the world, that makes us be more memorable than other producing countries such as: Spain, Brazil, Afghanistan, among others,” he said. Also in 2017 alone the number of emerald exports reached US $140 million. Between January and June of this year, these external sales were for US $74 million, where the amount exported, in volume, was close to 750,000 carats (a figure that includes all the ways in which these minerals can be exported).

At this moment, according to Fedesmeraldas, Colombia is exporting emeralds to Asian countries: China, India, but also the United States – which in fact has become an important distributor of emeralds in the world. These countries are also the ones that consume the most emeralds per capita every year.

Oscar Baquero explained that the slowdown in past periods did not affect the industry to a greater extent, as it did with other sectors. While, they managed to appreciate that the level of investment increased between 2016 and 2017.

“The sector has not suffered from the recession issue because the market is always demanding many more emeralds than we can produce or sell. We have maintained the issue of production costs and others so that this phenomenon does not affect us ”. However, one factor that could have ’embittered the party’ for mineral producers is the volatility of the dollar. “But despite everything we were able to maintain ourselves, there were other mineral producers who did feel the slowdown in all areas such as coal, oil, among others,” said Baquero.