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Rough diamond market showing signs of recovery

18/04/2018

The rough diamond market is showing signs of recovery, led by buoyant demand for medium- and large-sized stones, while polished diamond trade remains subdued with manufacturers under pressure from firmer rough prices.

Russian miner Alrosa reported higher demand for medium- and large-size rough diamonds in the period from January to March, compared to the same period last year.

“There was a slight seasonal cooling off in demand in March. However, good results of special size diamond auctions (over 10.8 carats) ensured higher sales this month (March) compared with February 2018,” Alrosa deputy CEO, Yury Okoemov, said in a statement.

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De Beers increased prices for a second consecutive sale, Bloomberg reported, quoting people familiar with the matter, even as an alleged bank fraud in India puts a strain on Indian polished diamond exports.

Bloomberg reports that De Beers lifted prices between 1 percent and 2 percent, according to insiders who asked not to be identified. The company raised prices a similar amount in its previous sale at the end of February, the news wire added. 

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Canadian miner Stornoway Diamond Corp reported robust conditions since the start of the year.

“The first quarter saw a strong performance for Stornoway in sales and pricing, with successively higher prices at each of our three sales reflecting an improved size and quality mix and a strong start to the year for the diamond market,” Matt Manson, president and CEO of Stornoway, said in a statement.

In the polished diamond market, diamond prices stabilised in March, with dealers disappointed with the Hong Kong show, while the alleged bank fraud involving two Indian jewellery companies impacted confidence, Rapaport reported.

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“Cutters are protecting their profits with steady polished prices, and buyers have adapted to the higher rates that emerged in January and February,” Rapaport said.

The Hong Kong show was slower than expected, but the outlook for China remains positive.

Words by David Brough

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