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Diamond Prices Down Amid Asia Caution

1 ct. RAPI Drops 1.1% in Third Quarter
Oct 4, 2018 5:00 AM   By Rapaport
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RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, October 4, 2018, New York… Polished diamond prices softened in September, with trading at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair reflecting uncertainty over weak currencies and US-China trade tensions.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds slid 0.3% during the month and 1.1% in the third quarter. The index is up 2.2% since January 1, following firm US and Chinese demand in the first half.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
September 3Q 2018
Jul. 1 to Oct 1.
Year to date
Jan. 1 to Oct. 1
Year on year
Oct. 1 2017, to
Oct 1. 2018
RAPI 0.30 ct. -2.4% -4.4% 4.9% 5.9%
RAPI 0.50 ct. -1.0% -1.4% 4.7% 3.7%
RAPI 1 ct. -0.3% -1.1% 2.2% 1.4%
RAPI 3 ct. 0.1% -0.9% 0.0% -0.8%
© Copyright 2018, Rapaport USA Inc.

The diamond market was quiet throughout the third quarter as dealers closed for summer vacations and Jewish holidays.

The Hong Kong show didn’t provide its usual boost after the seasonal slowdown, though there was steady demand for 1-carat, D-H, VS-SI goods and 0.30- to 0.50-carat, D-J SIs. There was relative weakness in 0.30-carat, D-H, IF-VVS diamonds — which are popular in the Chinese market — reversing the upward trend of the first half.

Trading was cautious after the yuan dropped 3.8% in the third quarter to CNY 6.87/$1 on October 1, while the Indian rupee fell 5.9% to INR 72.5/$1 in the same period, creating restraint among buyers from those countries. The decline raises operating costs for companies supplying their local markets, since they buy diamonds in US dollars and sell in domestic currencies. Chinese jewelers were also concerned that new US import tariffs would slow economic growth and impact consumer confidence during the October 1 National Day and the Chinese New Year, which begins February 5.

Dealers are now focused on the US ahead of the fourth-quarter holiday season, with Indian manufacturers keeping production relatively low before factories close for the November 7 Diwali break. Expectations are rising for holiday demand; the hope is that improving jewelry sales will support polished prices in the final months of the year.

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 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.

Image: Visitors at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. (UBM)
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Tags: diamonds, Jewelry, Rapaport, RAPI, RapNet
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