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DTC Dec. Sight Estimated at $420M

Dec 16, 2010 12:46 PM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... The Diamond Trading Company (DTC) December sight had an estimated value of $420 million as prices and assortments remained relatively stable. Ex-plan, or goods not included in the original intentions to offer (ITOs), was supplied mainly to Indian sightholders which boosted the sight value.

DTC spokesperson Louis Prior noted that the sight was uneventful, as is usually the case in December. “Sightholders seemed keen to just come in, see the goods and return to their centers to maximize any last minute business they could do before the Christmas break,” Prior said.

The December sight, which is the tenth and final DTC sale of the year, was shorter than usual, being conducted in just three days, and it did not include any presentations by the company.

Sightholders suggested that demand for rough is being stimulated by the Indian market which is now back to full production following the Diwali break, while demand in Israel and Belgium is less than from India.

Reports indicated that prices at the BHP Billiton December tender rose about 2 percent on average, while DTC prices were stable.

Most sightholders that spoke with Rapaport news expressed concern that rough prices will increase early in 2011, further squeezing their manufacturing margins. “As a result, manufacturers are expecting a tough first half of 2011,” said one market professional.  

One sightholder said he does not expect DTC to raise prices in January until it has been able to make a complete analysis of the Christmas season and estimated that a rise in jewelry sales of more than 3 percent would bring further increases to rough price.

Prior reported that attendees at the sight appeared upbeat about the Christmas season and that they were satisfied by early reports of jewelry sales since Thanksgiving in the U.S. 

Sightholders added that while demand for polished has improved in the preparation for Christmas, the rough market remains stronger. “We cannot carry further price increases,” said another sightholder. “It’s just very difficult to profit at the moment.”

With the December sight, DTC sales in 2010 rose 48 percent to about $4.8 billion, according to Rapaport estimates. Sales were approximately 19 percent below 2008 levels.

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Tags: Avi Krawitz, Avi Krawitz, De Beers, DTC
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