Diamond Market Update (December 6, 2012)

Certified diamond prices were down for November. The RapNet Diamond Index for 1 carat diamonds slid 0.7 percent and was down 12.5 percent year to date. 0.3, 0.5 and 3 carat diamonds also posted losses for the month and remain well below last year’s prices.

At the beginning of last month, polished sales were reportedly slow ahead of India’s Diwali festival. However, as the festival has now ended, traders in the wholesale market are reporting improvement, though with pressure on prices.

In the US, Thanksgiving weekend, which is a major holiday shopping occasion, delivered a positive outlook for holiday purchases. Pricing is a notable issue there as well as consumers remain very price conscious. Lower price points are expected to be necessary this season as consumers seek inexpensive goods and as brick and mortar retailers aim to compete with online retailers in this price-sensitive environment.

Activity in rough trade is picking up as Indian market participants in India and Belgium are getting back to work. However, traders in diamond centers in Belgium and Israel appear to be more cautious than those in India, where activity is said to be mostly focused on rough stones that yield polished diamonds in SI and lower clarities.

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