Pearl exports increased in 2004-05 by 84% to $2.9 million, confirming the steady recovery from the effects of the algae outbreak in early 2001.
Anecdotal evidence suggests a modest improvement in global prices, largely dictated by the French Polynesian market. It is also understood a number of small farmers have exited the industry and that the larger farmers have remained and stabilized. It is projected that there will continue to be modest growth in the industry driven by the larger suppliers, with higher volumes and slightly higher market prices.
There have been moves by Government to assist the industry to establish quality management and marketing systems, to enable Cook Islands pearls to improve their competitiveness on the global market in the face of increasing international competition.
Complete report: MFEM, Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update