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Diamond Trade Cautious Ahead of Holiday Season

1 ct. RAPI -0.3% in September
Oct 7, 2019 5:00 AM   By Rapaport
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RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, October 7, 2019, Las Vegas…Diamond market sentiment was weak in September after the Hong Kong show demonstrated a slowdown in Chinese demand.

Buyers from mainland China are cautious. The US-China trade war, depreciation of the yuan, and higher gold prices have diminished their spending power. US jewelers are limiting their inventory purchases as the shift to interactive digital shopping and omni-channel reduces their in-store stock requirements.

Inventory shortages at the dealer level for popular items are supporting polished prices for select categories. Manufacturers have drastically reduced their production of polished diamonds after starting the year with an oversupply. The number of diamonds on RapNet declined 3.3% in September to 1.45 million. A large volume of lower-quality goods remains available on RapNet, but there is a shortage of G-I, SI-I1, RapSpec A3+, nonfluorescent diamonds.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds fell 0.3% in September. The index has declined 4.6% since the start of the year and dropped 6% in the past 12 months.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
September Year to date
Jan. 1 to Oct. 1
Year on year
Oct. 1, 2018, to Oct. 1, 2019
RAPI 0.30 ct. 0.2% -14.9% -19.7%
RAPI 0.50 ct. -0.5% -8.0% -9.9%
RAPI 1 ct. -0.3% -4.6% -6.0%
RAPI 3 ct. -0.8% -16.0% -19.1%
© Copyright 2019, Rapaport USA Inc.

Rough purchases have slumped, with De Beers maintaining steady prices but introducing a flexible buyback policy in August-September. De Beers sales fell 48% year on year to $537 million in the third quarter. Indian manufacturers are keeping their operations at low capacity through the three-week Diwali festival break, which begins October 27, with some small-scale operations closing early due to the weak market conditions.

Dealers are focused on filling holiday demand, although jewelers prefer taking goods on memo to making inventory purchases. Consumers are shifting to less expensive jewelry amid trade war uncertainty and stock market volatility. Fashion jewelry is stronger than bridal, highlighting the need for a strong investment in marketing engagement rings this holiday season.

To learn more about the market, subscribe to the Rapaport Research Report here.

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 1.45 million diamonds valued at about $7.6 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 1.45 million diamonds valued at about $7.6 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.
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Tags: China, De Beers, diamonds, Hong Kong, Jewelry, Rapaport, RAPI, Trade War
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