"Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, called on India to show reciprocity in its trade relationship with the United States," writes eponymous Rapaport News of their founder's “State of Diamond Industry” presentation at GJEPC's "Mines to Market" conference yesterday, marking 50 years of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
As we noted two weeks ago, word from De Beers and ALROSA was that the sharp decline in low-quality, low-value stones destined for India has abated as the country's cash situation stabilizes post-demonitization, and India's official January trade figures bear this out. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reports that the volume of rough diamond imports during the month increased 41% over December 2016 and a full 79% since November 2016 when demonitization was introduced.
Diamond Dealers Club (DDC) of New York is moving to the International Gem Tower on West 47th Street in New York City, from its longtime home at 580 Fifth Ave. President Reuven Kaufman said the move is, "critical to the future success and stability of the diamond industry on 47th Street in New York." The DDC's new home will be approximately 17,500 square feet on the 11th floor, including a new open trading floor with state of the art technical facilities, cafeteria and break area, according to a statement.
ALROSA, the Russian diamond mining giant, reports January sales of rough diamonds at $358.2 million and polished at $7.8 million; overall sales of $365.4 million represent a 107% increase over December 2016 and a 60% increase over the same period last year. The miner said it was "cautiously optimistic" that the trade in lower quality, low-cost goods - the majority of which are destined for India - is stabilizing.
Two professional jewelers are seeking to fill a market need by launching an app for the industry, Jewellery Trader, which gives members of the trade a new tool for sourcing and showcasing jewelry, watches and antiques. It also enables traders to advertise items for sale to consumers. The Jewellery Trader app was designed in an effort to provide an “innovative, cost effective selling tool in an easy to use and manage platform”.
After a difficult 2015, the Antwerp diamond industry recorded a 5% increase in trade in 2016, according to a press release from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). This past year, a total of 48 billion USD worth of diamonds were imported to and exported from Antwerp. "The rough diamond market in particular is clearly making a strong recovery. This is positive sign, given that the rough diamond trade is the foundation and heart of the diamond trade.
Last week, on the occasion of the "Diamond Year" that the City of Antwerp will celebrate from September 2017 through May 2018, the City of Antwerp dug deep into its "Insolvente Boedels" archive, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage resource, to reveal documents dating the diamond trade in Antwerp back to 1447 - or 570 years ago. The 'crown jewel' of the documents revealed is an edict dating from 1447 in which the 'College of Mayor and Aldermen' decree that, "No one may trade in fake diamonds." The College was well ahead of its time.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Praveen Shankar Pandya told the Press Trust of India he expects gem and jewellery exports to likely witness growth of about 10 percent this fiscal year due to increasing demand in the US and Europe. "We are seeing the markets improve slowly, especially US and Europe to some extent. Looking at the growth in demand in these markets, we are expecting close to 10 per cent growth in the gems and jewellery exports led by polished diamonds," said Pandya.
While it is early days for an already turbulent and unpredictable Trump administration, news that the White House has floated the idea of introducing a border tax on imports from Mexico is likely causing anxiety among retailers that rely on such imports.
Rough diamond sales by ALROSA Group in November 2016 amounted to $245.6 million, while polished diamond sales for the same period amounted to $9.6 million. Total diamond sales in November 2016 amounted to $255.2 million, 63% higher compared to the same period last year. However, November sales represent a 43% decline from the $430.8 million in rough diamonds sold in October, whilst recording a healthy increase over the $8.2M in polished sold last month.
Bain & Company together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has published their sixth annual report on the global diamond jewelry trade, with the lead insight being that in 2015 - not a banner year by any stretch of the imagination - retail sales grew 3% at constant exchange rates but declined about 2% in US dollar terms due to currency depreciation and slower demand in China. This followed a period of growth from 2012 through 2014, signifying that diamond jewelry consumption has entered "a moderation phase".
Antwerp's rough diamond trade surged again in the month of November, as the dollar value of rough imports to and exports from the diamond capital rose 60% and 63% respectively compared to the same period in a year ago, according to figures from Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). These figures essentially seal the positive verdict on Antwerp’s 2016 rough trade, as rough exports for the year (January through November) have risen nearly 10% in carat volume and 11.50% in value; rough imports fared just as well, recording a 10.40% increase in volume and a 10% increase in value.
According to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the volume of rough as well as polished imports to the diamond capital rose during the month of October compared to the same period in a year ago, while exports of both categories slowed. Rough imports increased nearly 11% in volume to 8.4 million carats, representing the highest volume of October rough imports since 2012, though the value of those imports fell 7% to $900 million.
According to polishedprices, the polished diamond price index slumped to its lowest level since March 2010, while Rapaport writes that its polished price index dropped 4.3% in the first ten months of the year. Both index leaders view the Chinese, Jewish and Indian holidays as exerting downward pressure on the markets in October, with this week's traditional slowing coming ahead of the Diwali holidays. Rapaport also says that, "Trading slowed as larger U.S.
Gujarat chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), saying it would put the city and the state on the map of world. "With this complex becoming operational, Surat will find its place among the world diamond trading hubs. This will boost the trade prospects for diamond traders from Surat," said Rupani. SDB is a company floated by diamond barons who plan to invest Rs1.25 trillion to establish it over a period of four years.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds trended upward during the first six months (April-September 2016) of fiscal year 2017, rising by 10.71% to $11.20 bn, according to the provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). During the fiscal year to date, imports of rough diamonds rose to $8.85 bn, an increase of 27.20%.
Thirteen years after the the United States government initially banned the import of all gemstones from Burma (Myanmar) to put pressure on the military junta that had ignored democratic elections, placed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, and persecuted minority groups throughout the country, U.S. sanctions on imports of the Burmese gemstones were officially lifted by an executive order on October 7.
India and Russia will discuss ways to boost the direct trade of diamonds when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa on Saturday, writes the Deccan Herald. Modi will discuss with Putin the measures New Delhi is considering to simplify the taxation and customs procedure to make it easier for Russian traders to export rough diamonds to India directly, avoiding the intermediaries, sources told DH.
The Hong Kong Accredited Diamond Exchange (HKADE), backed by a renowned Hong Kong serial entrepreneur Mr. Shih Wing-Ching, provides the first online peer-to-peer (P2P) global diamond marketplace with its reliable verification service and unique features for investment consideration with the support of non-physical settlement, according to a company press release. "There is a big gap between the retail price and resale price of diamonds," Mr. Shih stated. "This is because information about the diamond market is not always clear.
The major news for the diamond industry emerging from last week's Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok was the opening of the Eurasian Diamond Centre in Free Port Vladivostok. The new diamond centre, a project developed by Russian mining company ALROSA, is an infrastructure cluster that will provide a platform for international trade and processing of precious stones.
South Africa posted a sharply lower trade surplus in July, hit by falling exports of precious metals and stones, including gold and diamonds. The surplus decreased to 5.2 billion rand ($356 million) from 12.5 billion rand ($860 million) in June, Bloomberg, reported, adding nine economist estimates expected a surplus of around 8 billion rand. The rand’s 27 percent drop against the dollar in 2016 has boosted exports, even as demand in South Africa’s largest trading partners was subdued.
ALROSA will participate in the Second Eastern Economic Forum on September 2-3 as its official partner. The Eastern Economic Forum is held annually in Vladivostok in accordance with the Decree of President Vladimir Putin. The aim of the Forum is to promote the accelerated development of the economy of Eastern Russia and expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Almost two months after the British electorate's decision to leave the EU and with the financial effect still unclear, Retail Jeweller magazine is surveying its readers to uncover how UK jewelers are being impacted by the Brexit vote. The survey aims to also find out what the jewelry industry believes being outside the EU might hold for them. Results of the survey will be published in the November issue of Retail Jeweller together with comment and analysis.
Earlier this year, India's Jet Airways pulled out of Brussels and relocated their operations to Amsterdam, leaving Brussels Airport without a direct flight to India. Today, after having reached an agreement with Air India, Brussels Airlines has announced that they will start flying directly to Mumbai in March 2017.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade rebounded in July, according to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, while the polished trade could not shake its downward trend. Rough exports in July increased 14% in value to $1.17 billion on a 29% increase in volume traded at 9 million carats, compared to just 7 million carats a year ago. These volumes corrected the slight dip in exports in June. Rough imports also rose 16.5% in value and 22% in volume over July 2015.
"Diamonds on screen are trading at a significant discount to the normal Rappaport Benchmark Price list that current dealers trade against on a daily basis."
Daniel Fowler, on first client trades going through the Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange.
Israel’s polished diamond exports slumped in the first half as sentiment weakened among traders, writes Rapaport News. Exports fell to $2.61 billion, a 14 percent decline as compared to 2015, while polished imports slid 10 percent to $1.62 billion, according to government data.
According to figures published by Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the Antwerp diamond trade for the first six months of 2016 showed modest growth in the rough trade and stability in the polished trade, albeit at lower levels than last year. “From January to June, 111.1 million carats of rough and polished diamonds were traded on the Antwerp diamond market, as compared to 102.8 million carats in the first half of 2015,” reads the AWDC press release.
Hundreds of diamond brokers from Varachha and Mahidhapura diamond markets have got together to form their separate association to take up the issues pertaining to the trade and the merchants, reports The Times of India. Diamond merchants took the decision two days ago after the police - following a complaint from the regional chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Dinesh Navadiya - arrested two merchants in connection with a cheating case reported one year ago.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade continued its 2016 surge as the massive gains recorded in March and April held steady and are still trending positive. According to the May figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, its overall rough trade again climbed 20% in value on a 6% increase in volume compared to May 2015, as Antwerp traded nearly $2.6 billion on 16.1 million carats of rough stones during the month.
U.S. polished diamond imports rose close to 3.0 percent on the year to $1.85 billion in April, while imports by volume were very slightly higher – up 0.6 percent to 793,939 carats with the average price per carat climbing 2.3 percent to $2,324, Rapaport reported. Exports of polished goods soared nearly 10 percent to $1.33 billion.
According to provisional data provided by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India’s polished diamond exports increased 8.85% year on year to $1.78 billion in April, while holding steady (- 2.5%) on last month's gains. By volume, polished exports increased 3.1% to 2.6 million carats. The other main indicator for India's trade health, rough diamond imports, surged 37% year on year to $1.88 billion in April, which also represents a 35% increase over March 2016.
A new world record for any jewelry auction was set on Tuesday when Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva generated sales of $175.1 million, led by the 'Unique Pink', a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 15.38 carats that sold for $31,561,200, or $2,052,094 per carat, the auction house reported. Sotheby’s said it was the largest such diamond ever to come to auction and set a record for its type. Meanwhile, the overall sum realized comfortably beat the previous record of $160.9 million set by Sotheby’s in the equivalent sale last year in May 2015.
Namibia and De Beers have signed a new 10-year sales agreement for the sorting, valuing and sales of Namdeb Holdings’ diamonds. The sales agreement is the longest ever signed between the two partners and comes after more than a year of delays. Namibia will see a significant increase in rough diamonds made available for beneficiation as a result of the agreement, with $430 million of rough diamonds being offered annually to Namibia Diamond Trading Company customers. As part of the agreement, all Namdeb Holdings’ Special Stones will be made available for sale in Namibia.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade continued its path to recovery after the 2015 downturn, as according to the April figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, its rough trade surged 32% in value and 39% in volume compared to April 2015, as Antwerp traded nearly $2.5 billion on 18.75 million carats of rough stones during the month. April rough exports increased nearly 30% year-on-year in volume as well as value, while rough imports spiked by 50% in volume and 34% in value compared to the same month a year ago.
The Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange (SDiX), the world's first and only commodity exchange trading in physically settled diamonds, is going live from Thursday. Once business takes off at the exchange, it will be portal-based and with transparent pricing. This could also bring investors into diamonds. All stones traded on SDiX are Gemological Institute of America (GIA)-graded and buyers of single stones can examine certificates directly via the platform, according to the report.
Russia's Alrosa PJSC reported first-quarter diamond sales soared by 70% on the previous quarter to around $1.3 billion, selling from stockpiles that built up last year. The miner, the second-largest producer in the world, sold 12.1 million carats of rough diamonds compared with 7.1 million carats in the final three months of 2015. Alrosa said that it sold 8.9 million carats of gem-quality stones, and 3.2 million carats of industrial diamonds.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd., the largest jewelry retailer in China, posted heavy falls in mainland sales in the first quarter of 2016 from a year ago. Same-store sales of jewelry plunged 24% while those of gold products slumped 29%. The company said a growing number of mainlanders are traveling overseas to shop for luxury items and other products, while the country’s slowing economy has battered consumption. The important Hong Kong and Macau markets posted a 26% decline in the value of combined sales and a 27% drop in same-store sales.
The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) has released a revised draft of its Standard for Responsible Mining statement for a 60-day review and public comment period ahead of the first-ever global certification program for industrial-scale mine sites, planned to begin in late 2016. The draft reflects input from more than 1,400 points of comment contributed by more than 70 organizations and individuals worldwide, including industry and technical experts.
The fact that diamond miners have been unable to prevent prices from dropping below where they were a decade ago is a clear sign that the industry is failing to maintain the cachet of its brand. Today's consumers have different desires than those of their parents who may remember Marilyn Monroe singing 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend' and are more likely to spend their money on nice vacations, fancy handbags and high-tech gadgets. They likely only think of diamonds when it comes to a (mostly) once-in-a-lifetime engagement ring or a wedding band.