Rapaport Press Release
1 ct. RAPI -0.4% in January


RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, February 4, 2020, Las Vegas… Diamond market sentiment was positive for most of January but weakened as the outbreak of the coronavirus in China resulted in a shutdown of retail stores over the important Chinese New Year period.

Prices were supported by shortages, particularly of 0.30- to 0.49-carat, D-F, IF-VVS2 goods, with inventory of fine-cut RapSpec A3+ diamonds declining. Collection-quality diamonds above 3 carats (D-E, IF-VVS2) remained weak. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds slid 0.4% in January, while the 0.30-carat index rose 4.1%.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
January  Y2Y
Feb. 1, 2019, to Feb. 1, 2020
RAPI 0.30 ct. 4.1% -3.0%
RAPI 0.50 ct. 1.5% -3.3%
RAPI 1 ct. -0.4% -5.3%
RAPI 3 ct. 0.2% -14.8%
© Copyright 2020, Rapaport USA Inc.

Far East demand turned sluggish toward the end of January due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Travel restrictions are likely to affect global trading, while weak jewelry sales over the January 25 lunar festival will impact first-quarter inventory replacement.

The recent influx of rough to the market, coupled with the weakened outlook for China, raised concerns that the trade would return to a polished oversupply. De Beers sales rose 9% year on year to $545 million in January, with firmer prices on select boxes of commercial-quality diamonds.

Mining companies are holding large quantities of rough they couldn’t sell in 2019. Rough production is projected to decrease approximately 6% this year, although the mining companies have enough inventory to offset the decline. Alrosa began the year with a stockpile of 22.6 million carats.

The diamond trade must be careful to balance supply and demand in the current volatile environment. While the year began with an optimistic outlook for China, the coronavirus outbreak may result in a slowdown in the market there. To support polished prices, the industry must invest in marketing to broaden the range of diamonds that are in demand. Manufacturers must also refrain from buying too much rough as an oversupply of polished will exert additional pressure on prices.

Rapaport Media Contacts: media@diamonds.net
US: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Alex Shine +1-718-878-5138
Mumbai: Prashant Bhojani +91-97694-66855

About the Rapaport Research Report: The Rapaport Research Report provides subscribers with in-depth analysis about key themes affecting the diamond market. It also presents exclusive analytics on diamond prices for a variety of categories, based on sales and inventory data from RapNet® – The Diamond Market.

About the Rapaport 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® – The Diamond Market. www.RapNet.com has daily listings of approximately 1.3 million diamonds valued at approximately $7.4 billion. 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, with over 15,000 members in 97 countries and daily listings of approximately 1.3 million diamonds valued at approximately $7.4 billion; Rapaport Laboratory Services, providing GIA and Rapaport gemological services in India, Israel and Belgium; and Rapaport Trading and Auction Services, the world’s largest recycler of diamonds, selling over 500,000 carats of diamonds a year. Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net.

Image: Rough diamonds from the Ekati mine in Canada (Diamond Producers Association).


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