Diamond trading improved in late October after various Jewish, Indian and Chinese holidays. Dealers are focused on filling holiday orders as US jewelers prepare inventory for the season. Shortages are supporting prices of nonfluorescent RapSpec A3+ goods.
Polished prices stabilised in October. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds was down 0.1%, having dropped 4.7% since the beginning of the year. Supply of better-quality diamonds has diminished since July as manufacturers reduced their polished production and rough purchases.
India, which accounts for an estimated 90% of production, saw its rough imports fall 19% year on year to $3.11 billion in the third quarter and its polished exports drop 20% to $5.09 billion. However, the number of diamonds listed on RapNet has declined only 3% since July 1 to 1.45 million.
De Beers has kept production in line with sales volume this year and restricted supply through its flexible buyback policy in September. Alrosa’s production exceeded sales, resulting in its inventory rising 40% year on year to 21.7 million carats at the end of third quarter.
Excess inventory continues to burden the diamond industry at the mining and manufacturing levels as retailers remain conservative with their purchases. Mining companies will need to reduce production in 2020 to help restore the balance. Rapaport calls on the industry to invest in aggressive marketing to stimulate consumer desire for diamond jewelry during the holiday season.( Rapaport)