New Twist on Rough Opal Exports-Updated 27 June 2017
Recently Ethiopia has instituted a new export regulation:
Any rough opal leaving or being exported from Ethiopia must be accompanied by 50% (by weight) of finished or cut opals. As an example if a 2kg parcel of rough Welo opal is to be exported 1kg of cabochons, or other polished Welo opals, must accompany the rough Welo opal. This export strategy is being called 50/50 export by Ethiopian rough opal exporters. Of course, this is making it difficult for importers and sellers of rough opals like the Village Smithy Opals. There is quite a good market for gemmy rough Welo opal at present and an abundant rough Welo opal supply in Ethiopia, but the extra burden of having to buy finished goods makes an extra monetary burden for rough dealers and is increasing the price of rough Welo opal. Which I am sure was the Ethiopian governments desire when imposing this export strategy. I hope this only a temporary export reg and things return to normal export status soon.