Rapaport Press Release
RapNet Diamond Index Stable in December
RAPAPORT... PRESS RELEASE, January 7, 2014, New York: Polished diamond prices fell in 2013 as economic growth slowed in China and India. Diamond trading was supported by stable U.S. demand and a shift toward lower-price-point, commercial-quality diamonds. Sentiment improved in December due to steady U.S. Christmas holiday sales and rising expectations for the Chinese New Year. However, liquidity in the cutter and dealer markets remains tight. Profit margins are low and banks have reduced their credit for rough purchases in the manufacturing sector.

In December, the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for certified 1-carat polished diamonds rose 0.2 percent, while RAPI for smaller certified goods increased at a faster pace, continuing the trend witnessed throughout the year.

For the year 2013, RAPI for certified 1-carat polished diamonds fell 4.5 percent. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds rose 10.1 percent, while RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds declined by 0.7 percent. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds dropped 4 percent in 2013.

Copyright © by Martin Rapaport

The Rapaport Monthly Report – January 2014, ''Improved Sentiment,'' noted that polished diamond trading was boosted by last-minute holiday demand in December that slowed as the U.S. and European wholesale markets closed during the Christmas-New Year break.

There was good demand for smaller, commercial-quality diamonds as U.S. consumers focused on discount shopping during the holiday season. The trend is expected to continue as the diamond market shifts focus to the Far East for the Chinese New Year festival that begins on January 31. Far East jewelry retail sales are being driven by strong gold demand, but the major jewelers are expected to make a strong push to ramp up diamond sales in an effort to boost their margins. Buying is expected to remain cautious as economic growth has slowed while China’s government implements its reform agenda.

Rough trading improved in December as manufacturers were left with depleted inventory after they refused high-priced supply from August to October. Rough brokers noted that premiums emerged on the secondary market for select De Beers boxes but manufacturing profit margins remain tight.

Polished trading is expected to improve during the first quarter, driven by Chinese New Year demand and as U.S retailers start to replenish sold inventory. However, buyers are still conservative as jewelry retailers manage with leaner inventory. Diamond markets continue to be selective and price sensitive. While sentiment has improved and prospects for 2014 are slightly more upbeat, challenges remain for the diamond industry.

Read the attached Rapaport Research Report, ''Improved Sentiment,'' at www.diamonds.net/report ‎or email: specialreports@diamonds.net.

Rapaport Media Contacts: media@diamonds.net
U.S.: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400;
International: Lisa Miller +1-702-425-9088;
Mumbai: Manisha Mehta +91-97699-30065

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 1 million diamonds valued over US$6.5 ‎billion and ‎‎12,400 members in over 84 countries.

About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added value services that support the development of fair, transparent, efficient, and competitive diamond and jewelry markets. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Diamond Report is the primary source of diamond price and market information. Group activities include Rapaport Information Services providing research, analysis and news; RapNet – the world's largest diamond trading network; Rapaport Laboratory Services provides GIA and gemological services in India, Belgium and Israel; and Rapaport Trading and Auction Services with monthly sales of over 50,000 carats. The Group employs 180 people with offices in New York, Las Vegas, Antwerp, Ramat Gan, Mumbai, Surat, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai. 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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