RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) Up 1.9 percent in November

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RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) Up 1.9 percent in November

NEW YORK, December 18, 2011 – Certified polished diamond prices rose slightly in November, according to The Rapaport Group.
Polished buyers maintained caution and avoided large-scale purchases but suppliers still held firm on their prices, Rapaport said in a statement. Confidence improved but the volume of trading taking place remains below levels expected for this time of year.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 1.00 ct. diamonds rose 1.9 percent in November to 98.26. The 0.30 ct. category increased by 1.2 percent to 16.69, while the index for 0.50 ct. rose by 0.6 percent to 35.02. RAPI for 3.00 ct. diamonds fell 0.6 percent to 352.77.
Similarly, rough prices stabilized and demand improved slightly in November but trading remains weak. Indian diamond manufacturing is below capacity and confidence there continues to be impacted by tight liquidity and the recent sharp depreciation of the rupee.
According to the just released Rapaport Research Report, ‘Signs of Stability,’ jewelry retailers went into the season with relatively large inventories having aggressively bought goods in the first half of the year. Initial reports indicated a strong start to the season for general retail over Thanksgiving weekend but the momentum slowed slightly thereafter. Overall retail sales in November were disappointing.
The diamond industry therefore remains cautious in its trading. The euro zone debt crisis feeds uncertainty in diamond markets beyond European borders. While some sense of normalcy returned to the trade in November, the real test will come in January and February when a more complete assessment of the season can be made, as retail inventories would possibly have been depleted and stronger stability achieved.