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  • RapNet Diamond Index from January to October 2022 (Photo courtesy: Rapaport)

Price Decline Fuelling Diamond Trade Uncertainty

Polished diamond trading was slower than usual in September as US economic uncertainty and the slowdown in China affected sentiment. Dealers were cautious as polished prices continued to slide, said Rapaport Group in its newly released RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) on 6 October.


RAPI for 1-carat diamonds fell 3.8 percent in September. Having declined 9.7 percent in the third quarter, it was down three percent from the beginning of the year as of 1 October.


Polished inventory levels remain high despite the drop in rough supply following sanctions on Russian miner Alrosa. The number of diamonds on RapNet came to 1.88 million on 1 October, a 10 percent rise year on year. Inventory grew as trading slowed in the third quarter. Manufacturerslarge rough purchases at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 also contributed to the buildup.


Rough demand declined in September. Manufacturers had enough inventory to see them through Diwali, which falls on 24 October. De Beers kept rough prices stable at its September sight. Goods were selling at lower premiums on the secondary market; prices fell at rough auctions as buyers left large quantities of goods on the table.


The Jewellery & Gem World Singapore show, which took place in September, boosted Far East sentiment. However, Chinese demand remains sluggish. Consumers there are being more frugal amid continued Covid-19 restrictions.


US jewellers are optimistic for the holiday season but hesitant to buy inventory while polished prices are declining. Retailers are taking more goods on memo and demanding shorter delivery times from suppliers.






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