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Sentiment Softens Despite Diamond Price Rise

1 ct. RAPI +5.6% in February

Mar 1, 2022 7:20 AM   By Rapaport
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RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, March 1, 2022, Las Vegas… Diamond prices increased in February as higher rough costs forced manufacturers to raise their polished valuations. The market is being supported by US demand, but economic and geopolitical uncertainty have generated cautious sentiment in the trade.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds gained 5.6% in February and was up 12.9% since the beginning of the year as of March 1.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
February Year to date
Jan. 1 to Mar. 1
Year on year
Mar. 1, 2021, to Mar. 1 2022
RAPI 0.30 ct. 5.9% 6.9% 5.6%
RAPI 0.50 ct. 6.9% 10.4% 12.7%
RAPI 1 ct. 5.6% 12.9% 32.3%
RAPI 3 ct. 5.7% 13.2% 34.6%
© Copyright 2022, Rapaport USA Inc.

High US inflation, the promise of interest-rate hikes and the lingering coronavirus pandemic are fueling doubt and weighing on consumer sentiment. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and US sanctions on Alrosa have brought additional fragility to the market.

The sanctions, which target Alrosa’s ability to obtain credit, also saw Russian banks removed from international payment schemes. Delayed money transfers to Alrosa will likely disrupt supply from the miner — the world’s largest volume producer — and may result in rough shortages.

Scarcities were already apparent in February before the Ukraine crisis as lower production and structural changes to how rough is distributed has affected the secondary market. Rough on the dealer market and at auctions was selling at high double-digit premiums compared to De Beers’ January prices. Demand was robust at the February sight where De Beers raised prices for smaller goods an estimated 5%. Auction prices softened later in the month.

Rough-market trends drove expectations for higher polished prices. Some polished suppliers were hesitant to sell as they anticipated inventory valuations would rise further. Buyers became more restrained toward the end of February due to concerns about rising prices along with economic factors affecting consumer confidence. Initial reports from China signaled a more prudent consumer environment during the Lunar New Year.

Momentum has continued for the diamond industry in 2022 following the strong growth experienced last year. However, the market is fragile due to the volatile supply situation and weakening consumer sentiment. The lack of clarity about the market is adding caution.

Rapaport Media Contacts: media@diamonds.net
US: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Yael Wool +1-718-521-4976

About the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™): The RAPI is the average asking price in hundred $/ct. of the 10% best-priced diamonds, for each of the top 25 quality round diamonds (D-H, IF-VS2, GIA-graded, RapSpec-A3 and better) offered for sale on RapNet® (www.rapnet.com). Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net.

About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added-value services that support the development of ethical, transparent, competitive and efficient diamond and jewelry markets. Established in 1976, the group has more than 20,000 clients in over 121 countries. Group activities include Rapaport Information Services, providing the Rapaport benchmark Price List for diamonds, as well as research, analysis and news; RapNet, the world’s largest diamond trading network; Rapaport Trading and Auction Services, the world’s largest recycler of diamonds, selling over 400,000 carats of diamonds a year; and Rapaport Laboratory Services, providing Rapaport gemological services in India and Israel. Additional information is available at www.rapaport.com.

Image: Polished diamond inspected at Almod Diamonds' factory in Canada. (De Beers)
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Tags: Alrosa, De Beers, diamonds, Jewelry, Rapaport, RAPI, RapNet, Russia, Ukraine, US Sanctions
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