Polished diamond prices fall 8.6 pct in Q3-Rapaport
NEW YORK, October 9, 2011 – Certified polished diamond prices fell in September as dealer trading softened and concern rose about the global recovery, the Rapaport Group said.
The diamond industry closed a weak third quarter that reflected liquidity difficulties in the cutting centers and ongoing volatility in the financial markets.
Economic and political developments continue to fuel caution.
In September the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 1.00 ct. polished diamonds fell 4.5 percent to 99.57. The 0.50 ct. category declined by 4.5 percent to 36.47, and 3.00 ct. dropped 0.9 percent to 168.04.
The third quarter of 2011 has been one of decline for diamond prices following a positive first half of the year: RAPI for 1.00 ct. diamonds fell 8.6 percent, while 0.5 ct. stones declined 7.5 percent, and 3.00 ct. diamonds dropped 5.8 percent.
According to the just released Rapaport Research Report, “Third Quarter Jitters”, polished trading is now being driven by retail demand to satisfy current orders, with limited trading among dealers.
Stretched Indian liquidity continues to impact trading with those cash-strapped Indian suppliers willing to discount.
Similarly, rough dealer trading is at a near standstill with De Beers goods being offered at deep discounts.
While Chinese demand for diamonds and diamond jewelry continues to drive growth, the European debt crisis will have an impact globally.
“The diamond trade must accept the fact that diamonds are part of the real world and that diamond prices go up and down. Price volatility is to be expected and accepted as a normal part of doing business,” said Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group.
“Firms should develop strategies for dealing with downward moving markets. Smart sellers recognize that inventory cost should be based on replacement cost rather than historic cost.
“They remain profitable and support market prices by selling cheap and buying cheaper. Lower prices are a healthy part of the economic cycle as they create excellent buying opportunities and higher profits for smart buyers who ensure that diamonds remain excellent value in uncertain times.”