According to 2018 export figures from the Marine and Mining Resources Department of French Polynesia, Hong Kong continues to be the largest importer of Tahitian pearls, commanding a 63 percent share in total export weight and 57 percent in export value.
Following Hong Kong were Japan and China in second and third place, respectively, with China climbing to its present spot from being fifth in 2017.
Hong Kong and Japan alone represented 94 percent of total Tahitian pearl exports, the figures also revealed.
Production of Tahitian pearls has however declined substantially largely due to a shortage of baby oysters. According to government statistics, export quantity dropped by 15 percent in 2018. Average prices per gram and per piece meanwhile increased by 9 percent and 2 percent, respectively, amid economic uncertainties, indicating a positive outlook for the Tahitian pearl market.
In Hong Kong, industry players are working to promote the unique allure of Tahitian pearls to modern consumers. The Tahitian Pearl Association Hong Kong (TPAHK) recently appointed Amy Yan, CEO and director of Man Sang Jewellery (HK) Ltd, as co-president. She will work in close collaboration with Johnny Cheng of Rio Pearl, also co-president of TPAHK, to raise awareness and improve the popularity of Tahitian pearls.