Q&A: Rapaport to address diamond market challenges at CARAT+
Avi Krawitz, Senior Analyst and News Editor of Rapaport, shares details of his upcoming seminar at CARAT+ with David Brough, and explains why raising consumer demand, profit margins, and ensuring diamonds are ethically sourced are essential conversation points in the sector.
Q: What will be the focus of your seminar at CARAT+?
Avi Krawitz: I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to present at CARAT+. As trade journalists, we’re in a unique position to develop an impartial and overarching view of the market.
I’m looking forward to sharing some of my insights about current trends and the unique challenges and opportunities facing each segment of the diamond industry.
A diamond cutter has different concerns to a jeweller or a miner and is often squeezed by the two. I want to help businesses make sense of the sometimes overwhelming environment in which we operate and show that there are opportunities to be had.
Avi Krawitz Senior Analyst and News Editor Rapaport.
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Don’t miss Avi Krawitz on Monday, May 7, at 14:00 in the Conference Room, Hall 1, Antwerp Expo.
Q: What are the main challenges facing the global diamond market today?
AK: There are some pressing issues that the industry needs to urgently address that affects every business across the pipeline.
Without giving too much of my seminar away, my top three would be to raise consumer demand, ensure that translates to improved profit for all segments, and, perhaps most importantly, we need to ensure our diamonds are ethically sourced.
Avi Krawitz will address diamond industry challenges at both ends of the supply chain. Image Credit: De Beers Group.
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Q: How is the internet changing the dynamics of diamond trading?
AK: The internet has been the game changer for the diamond industry in the past decade. The trade has effectively shifted from the trading floor to online, giving dealers more extensive and faster access to inventory.
Those who don’t adapt by investing in the right technology and using the internet to have a meaningful conversation with clients, will ultimately lose out. That’s not to say the trading floor or trade shows are no longer relevant, as they enhance the personal relationships that are so important in any business. But like its retail counterparts, the trade needs to think with an omni-channel mentality and do both.
Q: What is, in your view, the outlook for polished and rough diamond prices this year?
AK: The first quarter is typically a stronger period for the diamond trade in which polished prices improve as businesses restock after the holiday season.
This year has been even better than previous years, as Christmas and Chinese New Year sales appear to have been good. Consequently, polished prices rose which helped lift profit margins a bit, and sentiment by a lot.
We’re now entering a quieter period of the year and I expect more stability for the rest of 2018 – with certain categories stronger than others. Of greater concern is that rough prices have already increased in 2018, which puts additional pressure on manufacturers’ margins.
Q: Rapaport has been a key supporter of CARAT+ since its first edition last year. Why is CARAT+ a useful show for Rapaport?
AK: CARAT+ is a good fit for Rapaport for a number of reasons. There’s a sense of diamond community at CARAT+ which I think resonates with Rapaport.
We too are enablers of community and networking opportunities when you consider RapNet and Rapaport Magazine. From the beginning, we recognised that CARAT+ would be a show worthy of the diamond product, and one which enhances the positive atmosphere and goodwill in the industry. As a supporter of the event, this in itself adds value to our brand.
CARAT+ Diamond Partner Rapaport will take part in the CARAT+ Conference 2018. Image Credit: Israel Diamond Exchange.
Discover more about Rapaport, here.
>> STAND 4C-16
CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.
Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world.