RAPAPORT... PRESS RELEASE, February 5, 2013, New York: Certified polished diamond prices held relatively stable in January sustained by steady Far East demand ahead of the Chinese New Year Golden Week. Tight rough supply has also spurred polished demand resulting in shortages of select in-demand stones.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat certified polished diamonds rose 0.1 percent in January. RAPI for 0.3-carat diamonds increased 0.9 percent, while 0.5-carat stones fell 0.1 percent and 3-carat diamonds declined by 0.3 percent. Prices have held relatively steady in the past three months, easing the downtrend that was prevalent for most of 2012.
Copyright © 2013 by Martin Rapaport
According to the just released monthly research report, “Snake-Like Stability,” diamond markets remain jittery despite the recent steadiness.
The temporary surge in Far East demand and a lag in manufacturing new polished output have resulted in shortages of goods on the market, especially for in-demand categories such as non-tinted, 0.40-carat to 0.90-carat, G-, VS-SI, Triple Ex goods. There is also good demand for princess cut, below 1-carat, as lower fancy shape price points continue to attract price sensitive buyers. But while dealers report shortages of goods at this time, they’re aware that demand may soften after the Chinese New Year Golden Week (beginning February 9).
In addition, a possible increase in polished supply may ease those shortages after diamond cutters increased their rough buying in the fourth quarter and have begun to ramp up their manufacturing to pre-Diwali levels. As a result, trading on the rough dealer market improved in January, and prices increased slightly. De Beers held its prices basically stable at its sight but the mining company continues to restrain production.
Prospects for jewelry sales during next week’s Chinese New Year festival, marking the beginning of the ‘Year of the Snake,’ are positive given China’s recent improved economic data. However, a cautious outlook for luxury, by Chow Tai Fook among other major jewelers, gives reason for concern. Similarly, mixed economic reports from the U.S. have curbed sentiment among jewelry retailers.
The diamond market therefore needs to be careful regarding prices in the current environment. Rough markets have improved but polished markets remain steady and are not booming. Instead, they have been driven by temporary spouts of U.S. and Far East holiday demand.
As a result, any expectations of long term price increases can easily be destroyed by shifts in short-term demand. Sustainable pricing requires sustainable demand and there is still a lot of uncertainty in the polished market.
Read the Rapaport Monthly Report, “Snake-Like Stability”, at www.diamonds.net/report or email: email@example.com.
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About the Rapaport: RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™): The RAPI is based on the average asking price in hundred $/ct. for the top 25 quality 1 ct. round diamonds (D-H, IF-VS2, RapSpec-2 and better) with GIA grading reports offered for sale on RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network. The RAPI is provided for various sizes. www.RAPNET.com has daily listings of over 900,000 diamonds valued over US $6 billion and 8000 members in over 80 countries.
About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added value services that support the development of free, fair, efficient and competitive global diamond markets. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Diamond Report is the primary source of diamond prices and market information. Group activities include publishing, research and marketing services, internet information and diamond trading networks, global rough and polished diamond tenders, diamond certification, quality-control, compliance, shipping, and financial services. Major activities of the group include the development of markets for Fair Trade Diamonds and Jewelry as well as the creation of diamond futures markets. Additional information is available at www.Rapaport.com.
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