Rapaport: Caution Drives Diamond Trade in January

Polished diamond prices remain stable after dropping slightly in January, despite the industry’s cautiousness at the start of 2012, according to Rapaport’s January 2012 Research Report “Treading Carefully.”

The RapNet Diamond Index for 1 ct. polished diamonds fell 1 percent to 95.95 in January; 0.30 ct. stones declined 3.9 percent to 15.48; 0.50 ct. diamonds rose 0.3 percent to 34.49; and 3 ct. stones fell 0.3 percent to 350.82.

Other highlights from the report:

  • Indian polished dealers are cautious as the volatile rupee and high inflation have impacted consumer and trader confidence.
  • Chinese buyers are holding back from large inventory purchases because of economic uncertainties.
  • Rough tender prices are stable.
  • ALROSA and DTC adjusted prices, but values remain high.
  • Dealer trading is still weak.
  • An influx of Zimbabwe rough is expected to impact the market in 2012, especially for low color and low quality category.
  • Retailers are cautious because of global economic uncertainties despite steady sales over the U.S. holiday season and the Chinese New Year.
  • Far East diamond demand is stable, but gold spurs strong jewelry sales during Chinese New Year.
  • Post-holiday lull impacts the United States, but retailers are satisfied with fourth quarter sales.
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