The main headlines this week were that Indian polishing firms turned down a suggested ban on rough imports to underpin high price levels, preferring to maintain job levels and production with lower polished prices. Meanwhile, De Beers is seen keeping rough prices high while allowing sightholders to defer up to 25% of purchases at next week’s sight. Round stones of 0.30 to 0.40 carats are still weak and polishing firms are moving output to 1 carat and larger good.
The luxury market in the Far East is declining as Chinese stocks plunge and slash consumer wealth. In the US, imports of polished goods in May slipped 3% to $3 billion, while exports dropped 30% to $1.4 billion. In Israel, too, first half polished exports fell 17% to $3 billion, and imports of rough plunged 21% to $1.6 billion.