Rapaport Press Release: Diamond Market Sees Selective Demand

1 ct. RAPI Stable in February

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Diamond dealers remained cautious in February amid excess supply and
selective demand. Suppliers had low expectations for the important Hong
Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, as economic and political
factors have impacted sentiment in China.

There was stable demand at the show for 0.70- to 1.99-carat, F-J,
VS2-SI2 diamonds, with the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 1
carat up 0.1% in February.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI)

Year to date
Jan. 1 to Mar. 1


Year on year
Mar. 1, 2018, to Mar. 1, 2019

RAPI 0.30 ct.           -0.6%           -1.3%           -8.7%
RAPI 0.50 ct. -0.3% -0.5% -2.1%
RAPI 1 ct. 0.1% -0.3% -2.4%
RAPI 3 ct.           -1.0%           -2.8%           -6.7%

© Copyright 2019, Rapaport USA Inc.

Buyers did better than sellers at the fair. Far East jewelers were
looking to restock 0.30- to 0.49-carat goods after the Chinese New Year,
but were prepared to walk away if their low offers weren’t met.
Suppliers are holding large inventory; the volume of diamonds listed on
RapNet as of March 1 was up 17% year on year at 1.49 million, with the
number of 0.30-carat stones having risen 80%.

The industry is adjusting to higher supply levels that hit the market in
2017, when three new mines came on stream. Global rough production
remains high, even though it fell an estimated 3.2% to 146 million
carats in 2018 and is expected to drop another 4% to 140.1 million
carats this year, according to February’s Rapaport Research Report.
Projections show rough sales volume rising about 2% in 2019.

However, that may be too much for the market to absorb. We believe the
mining companies have over-projected the volume of rough they can sell
in 2019, especially at current price levels. The market is saturated
with polished that is difficult to move, and manufacturers are
struggling to make a decent profit from current supply.

A correction is due. Manufacturers should not be too aggressive in the
rough market as long as polished demand is sluggish, and miners should
lower their expectations. Reducing rough supply along with prices will
help restore profits throughout the pipeline.

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Rapaport Media Contacts: media@diamonds.net
Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Alex Shine
Mumbai: Prashant Bhojani +91-97694-66855

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