RAPAPORT... Press Release, February 7, 2012, New York: Certified polished diamond prices fell slightly in the first month of 2012. Cautious trading activity is expected to continue as polished buyers are waiting for clearer signs of stability before making large volume purchases. Mining companies, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are carefully monitoring their inventories but an oversupply of rough from Zimbabwe is throwing the market out of balance.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1.00-carat polished diamonds fell 1 percent to 95.95 in January. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds declined 3.9 percent to 15.48 and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds rose 0.3 percent to 34.49. RAPI for 3.00-carat diamonds fell 0.3 percent to 350.82.
Rough prices at tender were relatively stable during the month. ALROSA cut its prices in January while De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) maintained high values on its boxes by adjusting assortments in its supply. DTC boxes are trading on the secondary market at low premiums.
Zimbabwe has ramped up production at the four concessions in the Marange fields to more than 1 million carats per month. The influx of these goods is expected to impact prices in the short term, particularly for low color, low quality rough. Inventories of rough are expected to grow and liquidity in the cutting centers may tighten as manufacturers hold on to the rough as long as polished demand remains subdued.
Rapaport stresses that the Marange goods are illegal to trade in the U.S. and the Europe Union. Rapaport maintains its ban on Marange goods on RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network.
According to the just-released Rapaport Research Report, Treading Carefully, the influx of a significant volume of Zimbabwe rough in the market may destabilize the current market equilibrium, while economic uncertainties continue to instill caution in the diamond trade. Trading levels are expected to remain flat in the first quarter as it remains unclear whether Far East and U.S. buyers will replenish inventories during the first quarter or delay their purchases until they gain confidence that prices have stabilized.
Additional information about the state of the global diamond market is available in the just-released Rapaport Research Report: Treading Carefully which is attached and can be found at www.diamonds.net/report or by emailing: email@example.com.
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About the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI): The RAPI is based on the best asking price in hundred $/ct. for the top 25 quality 1 ct. round diamonds (D-H, IF-VS2, RapSpec-2 and better) with GIA, HRD or AGS 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 800,000 diamonds valued over US$5 billion and 6700 members in over 78 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 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.