Rapaport Press Release
Markets Jittery Ahead of Year of the Snake
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: specialreports@diamonds.net. ‎

Rapaport Media Contacts: media@diamonds.net       ‎
International: Shira Topiol +1-702-425-9088
<> U.S.: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
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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. ‎

Martin Rapaport (Publisher) grants limited permission to use copyrighted data appearing in this press ‎release ‎‎in and in conjunction with journalistic copy, reporting or articles concerning diamond pricing and ‎information ‎‎in graph or data presentation format only. The following credit notice must appear alongside, ‎underneath, or in ‎‎close proximity to any use of the copyrighted data: “Used with permission of Rapaport ‎USA, Inc. Copyright © ‎‎Martin Rapaport.  All rights reserved.”‎

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