Rapaport Magazine

Economic Bulletin

U.S. Polished Imports Flat 
   The U.S. Department of Commerce reported year-on-year statistics for February:
  • Polished diamond imports were flat at $1.5 billion, up just 0.4 percent, while the price per carat fell 1 percent to $1,706. 
  • Polished diamond exports declined 8 percent to $1.46 billion. 
  • Rough diamond imports slipped 3 percent $29 million.
  • Rough diamonds exports were flat at $22 million.

Israel’s Polished Exports Fall in First Quarter
   Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor released year-on-year figures for the first quarter of 2013:
  • Polished diamond exports fell 8 percent to $1.6 billion.
  • Polished diamond imports declined 13 percent to $962 million. 
  • Rough diamond imports fell 10 percent to $891 million.
  • Rough diamond exports grew 3 percent to $826 million.
  • Israel’s net diamond account, representing total polished and rough exports less total imports, rose 27 percent to $574 million during the quarter.

Belgium’s Polished Exports Fall
   The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) released year-on-year diamond statistics for March:
  • Polished diamond exports fell 12 percent to $1.21 billion. By volume, exports fell 6 percent to 614,601 carats and the average price per carat dropped 6 percent to $1,975. 
  • Polished diamond imports declined 3 percent to $1.27 billion.
  • Rough diamond imports fell 13 percent to $1.18 billion.
  • Rough diamond exports dropped 4 percent to $1.41 billion. 

Gem Diamonds’ Sales Drop
   In its interim statement for the period January 1 to April 23, 2013, Gem Diamonds reported:
  • Rough diamond sales fell 20 percent year on year to $46.7 million
  • Rough diamonds sold from its Letseng mine declined 2 percent to 29,205 carats.
  • The average price per carat from three tenders fell 19 percent to $1,599. 
  • Production fell 33 percent year on year to 18,775 carats.

Japan’s Polished Imports Plummet
   Japan’s polished diamond imports fell 24 percent year on year to $53.6 million in February, Momozawa reported, citing the Finance Ministry.
  • By volume, polished imports grew 10 percent to 149,219 carats.
  • The average price dropped 31 percent to $359 per carat.

Dominion Diamond’s Sales Up
   Dominion Diamond Corporation, formerly the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation, reported year-over-year fourth-quarter and year-end results for the period that ended on January 31, 2013.
For the fourth quarter:
  • Consolidated sales from continuing operations rose 8 percent year on year to $110.1 million. The increase in sales resulted from an 11 percent increase in rough diamond prices.
  • Consolidated net profit dropped 10 percent to $14.9 million.
For the fiscal year:
  • Consolidated sales from continuing operations increased 19 percent to $345.4 million, compared to $290.1 million in 2012.
  • The increase in sales resulted from a 49 percent increase in volume sold during the year, offset by a 20 percent decrease in rough diamond prices.
  • Consolidated net profit rose 36 percent to $34.7 million during the year. 
In other company news:
  • Production at the Diavik mine in Canada rose 21 percent year on year to 1.9 million carats during the first quarter, which ended on March 31. The company owns a 40 percent share in the Diavik mine, with Rio Tinto holding the remaining 60 percent. They anticipate that Diavik will produce approximately 6 million carats in calendar 2013, up almost 40 percent from 2012.

Rio Tinto Output Falls
   Rio Tinto’s diamond production fell 4 percent year on year to 3.24 million carats for the first quarter that ended on March 31, 2013.
  • The Argyle mine in Australia produced 1.99 million carats, a decline of 15 percent.
  • Rio Tinto’s share of diamond production at Diaivk surged 21 percent to 1.2 million carats. 
  • Production at the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe improved by 20 percent to 79,000 carats.
  • For calendar year 2013, 14.8 million carats are forecasted for a 13 percent increase over 2012.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - May 2013. To subscribe click here.

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