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Diamond Market Sees Selective Demand

1 ct. RAPI Stable in February

Mar 5, 2019 3:41 AM   By Rapaport
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RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, March 5, 2019, Las Vegas … Diamond dealers remained cautious in February amid excess supply and selective demand. Suppliers had low expectations for the important Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show as economic and political factors have impacted sentiment in China.

There was stable demand at the show for 0.70- to 1.99-carat, F-J, VS2-SI2 diamonds, with the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1 carat up 0.1% in February. 

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
February Year to date
Jan. 1 to Mar. 1
Year on year
Mar. 1, 2018, to Mar. 1 2019
RAPI 0.30 ct. -0.6% -1.3% -8.7%
RAPI 0.50 ct. -0.3% -0.5% -2.1%
RAPI 1 ct. 0.1% -0.3% -2.4%
RAPI 3 ct. -1.0% -2.8% -6.7%
© Copyright 2019, Rapaport USA Inc.

Buyers did better than sellers at the fair. Far East jewelers were looking to restock 0.30- to 0.49-carat goods after the Chinese New Year, but were prepared to walk away if their low offers weren’t met. Suppliers are holding large inventory; the volume of diamonds listed on RapNet as of March 1 was up 17% year on year at 1.49 million, with the number of 0.30-carat stones having risen 80%.

The industry is adjusting to higher supply levels that hit the market in 2017, when three new mines came on stream. Global rough production remains high, even though it fell an estimated 3.2% to 146 million carats in 2018 and is expected to drop another 4% to 140.1 million carats this year, according to February’s Rapaport Research Report. Projections show rough sales volume rising about 2% in 2019.

However, that may be too much for the market to absorb. We believe the mining companies have over-projected the volume of rough they can sell in 2019, especially at current price levels. The market is saturated with polished that is difficult to move, and manufacturers are struggling to make a decent profit from current supply.

A correction is due. Manufacturers should not be too aggressive in the rough market as long as polished demand is sluggish, and miners should lower their expectations. Reducing rough supply along with prices will help restore profits throughout the pipeline.

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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 of key issues affecting the diamond market. It presents exclusive analytics of 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 1.6 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 1.6 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.



I
mage: A rough-diamond sorter at DTC Botswana. (De Beers)
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Tags: diamonds, Gem & Pearl Show, Hong Kong International Diamond, Jewelry, Rapaport, RAPI, RapNet
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