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Diamond Trading Slows in March

1-carat RAPI up 2.8% in 1Q
Apr 11, 2018 5:00 AM   By Rapaport
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RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, April 11, 2018, New York: Diamond prices stabilized in March, but sentiment softened after a positive start to the year. Dealers were disappointed with the Hong Kong diamond show, while a major bank fraud involving two Indian jewelry companies impacted confidence as well.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds slid 0.1% in March. RAPI for 0.30-carat stones rose 0.4%, while RAPI for 0.50-carat grew 1.1%. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds declined 0.4% during the month. RAPI for 1-carat rose 2.8% during the first quarter.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
March 1Q 2018 Y2Y
Apr. 1, 2017 - Apr. 1 2018
RAPI 0.30 ct. 0.4% 7.3% 2.7%
RAPI 0.50 ct. 1.1% 5.4% -9.1%
RAPI 1 ct. -0.1% 2.8% -1.5%
RAPI 3 ct. -0.4% 0.0% 0.9%
© Copyright 2018, Rapaport USA Inc.

Allegations that jewelry tycoon Nirav Modi spearheaded a $2 billion fraud against India’s state-owned Punjab National Bank fueled concerns that lenders would tighten credit to the diamond sector. Other banks have already raised their collateral requirements, and the financial year that began April 1 is likely to see a liquidity squeeze. Some large manufacturers with sizable credit lines are facing greater scrutiny.

Manufacturers are also under pressure from the rough side after De Beers raised prices an estimated 2% to 3% in the first quarter. Cutters are protecting their profits with steady polished prices, and buyers have adapted to the higher rates that emerged in January and February. Retailers are supporting demand by restocking after good US and Chinese holiday seasons.

The Hong Kong show was slower than expected, but the outlook for China remains positive. Consumers have acclimated to Premier Xi Jinping’s rule and are starting to spend again. A shortage of eligible women is leading men to prove their value and spend more on diamonds.

The Hong Kong-driven recovery in the watch industry lifted the mood at Baselworld, but diamonds continue to lose status at the event. New trade shows in Antwerp (Carat+) and Geneva (GemGenève) during May might provide suppliers with better selling opportunities in the high-end European market.

Rapaport expects polished trading to continue slowing in the coming months, as the second quarter is traditionally a quieter period for the diamond trade.

Rapaport Media Contacts: media@diamonds.net
US: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Avital Engelberg +1-718-521-4976
Mumbai: Prashant Bhojani +91-97694-66855

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 – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network. www.RapNet.com has daily listings of approximately 1.2 million diamonds valued at approximately $7.5 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 96 countries and daily listings of approximately 1.2 million diamonds valued at approximately $7.5 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: Shutterstock
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Tags: Baselworld, CARAT+, De Beers, diamond, diamonds, GemGenève, jewellery, Jewelry, Rapaport, Rapaport News, RAPI, RapNet, Xi Jinping
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