Certified polished diamond, India, Belgium, Israel, China, Rapaport

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RapNet polished diamond prices rise

New York, March 6, 2011 – Certified polished diamond prices rose significantly in February driven by strong dealer demand in India, Belgium and Israel, and continued growth of retail demand in China, The Rapaport Group said.
U.S. retail sales maintained their uptrend but wholesalers are still afraid to increase inventory levels. The polished market continues to lag behind the rough market and cutting profit margins remain tight.
As reported in the Rapaport Research Report entitled “Positive Polished; Raging Rough,” RapNet average asking prices increased 3.4 percent over the month of February 2011.
Half carats were up 2.5 percent, one carats up 4.2 percent and three carats up 4.5 percent. Prices of small, inexpensive diamonds at Rapaport Auctions continued to strengthen during the month.
Average prices on RapNet were 11.3 percent above levels seen at the end of February 2010.
High rough prices are being driven by strong Indian demand while mining companies continue to constrain supply.
De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) prices rose by an estimated average 7 percent in February, while prices at rough tenders increased by about 7 to 10 percent.
Premiums in the secondary market remain in the high single digits despite the price hikes and demand remains strong.
While diamond trading is upbeat and dealers may be tempted to exploit current price trends, geopolitical and macroeconomic factors may still have a negative impact on the market.
The trade is advised to avoid speculation and maintain caution, The Rapaport Group said.

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