DIAMONDS NEWS – Prices of higher-clarity diamonds continue to fall, Rapaport reports

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The diamond market slowed in April due to seasonal factors as well as weak US and Chinese demand, Rapaport reported. Prices of VS-plus goods fell, while SIs improved, continuing a trend that has been present since the start of the year.  

BHP’s $38.9 billion bid for Anglo American raised questions about the future of De Beers. Anglo is also reportedly trying to sell De Beers in a separate process that could lead to a restructuring of the diamond market. The company is under unprecedented pressure from synthetics, political challenges, and the drop in Chinese demand. 

Polished sales were slow in April. High inflation and interest rates impacted US spending. Chinese consumers preferred to invest in gold rather than diamonds. 

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat goods — reflecting round, D to H, IF to VS2 diamonds — dropped 3.5% in April and almost 20% year on year. Prices for round, 1-carat, D to H, SI diamonds increased 1% in April.

DIAMONDS NEWS – Prices of higher-clarity diamonds continue to fall, Rapaport reports

The rough market was sluggish due to the weakness in polished. Dealers struggled to make profits on most De Beers boxes on the secondary market. April rough sales at Botswana’s state-owned Okavango Diamond Company fell 68% year on year to $34.6 million. De Beers reduced its 2024 production outlook by about 10%, forecasting output of 26 million to 29 million carats. 

Group of Seven (G7) sanctions on Russian diamonds impacted the market. Ari Epstein’s resignation as CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) reflected controversy over the implementation of European Union rules, which have caused delays at the city’s customs office. Plans to make Antwerp the single inspection point for all diamonds entering G7 countries faced opposition from across the industry. 

The trade’s focus shifted to the upcoming Las Vegas shows, with hopes they would kick-start the wholesale market ahead of the holiday season.