According to an analysis conducted by experts at ALROSA, in Q1 2018, sales of jewelry set with polished diamonds in the main global consumer markets have grown by 7% in comparison to the first quarter of 2017. Their figures are a clear indication that projections about increasing demand for diamond jewelry are correct, and even understated, as several markets performed even better than anticipated. According to ALROSA’s estimates, the positive market dynamics were mostly driven by growth in consumer interest and fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
Accounting for 53% of total global sales, diamond demand in North America (US & Canada) continues to be robust, with ALROSA calculating that diamond jewelry sales increased by 5% as compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Beating even optimisitc projections, sales in the Asia-Pacific Region grew by 11% during the first quarter, mainly due to growth in Mainland China as well as heightened demand in Hong Kong and South Korea, driven by increased tourist influx. In 2017, the Asia-Pacific markets accounted for 20% of the global consumption of jewelry with polished diamonds. Sales in the Indian market merely remained stable in the first quarter, with large jewelry networks in particluar showing sales growth, calming fears about a collapse of demand amid the Nirav Modi/Gitanjali troubles.
Two surprising results of ALROSA's study come from Europe and Japan, where diamond jewelry sales: In Europe, sales (in dollar equivalent) increased by 14%, mostly due to the positive effect from strengthening the Euro positions; in Japan, sales grew by 7%, with the main share of jewelry sales coming from the local population, where demand remains stable. The sales dynamic in Japan was also positively influenced by weakening of the Yen against Chinese Yuan, which provided for growing tourists’ demand. Growth in diamond jewelry purchases falls within the larger trend of increasing luxury purchases tout court, as the global luxury market grew by 13% in the first quarter of the year. The biggest growth in this segment has been noted in Asia-Pacific Region countries (20%) and in Europe (18%).