Healthy lab-grown sales were reported in January and deep into February. Rough LGD supply from China was halted due to the
Chinese New Year vacations that started in mid-January. Factories were due to open in February, however, production did not start
until late in the month, and then only partially.
The travel ban posed an obstacle to purchasing, with producers willing to ship only if buyers were willing to accept parcels without
seeing them first. That kind of trust is limited. And by mid-March shortages in HPHT were reported.
According to LGD manufacturers and wholesalers, sales of polished ended abruptly in early March and in early April was yet to
LGD prices kept steady in the first couple of months, while business continued. The exception was a price decline in thirds and
quarters over a supply/demand imbalance.
In addition to the pandemic induced impact, patent issues also impacted CVD activity, evident in February. As a result, HPHT was in
better demand, leading to firm pricing.
It is difficult to predict what will happen to LGD demand and prices once the COVID-19 storm passes and trade resumes. One LGD
jewelry manufacturer said he expects prices to decline at first as loose LGD traders will be incentivized to renew their cash flow as
quickly as possible.