1 ct. RAPI -0.5% in August
(NEW YORK) - Diamond prices dropped slightly in August due to slow trading during the summer vacation. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds fell 0.5% during the month - typically a quieter period, as bourses in Belgium and Israel close for business.
After a strong first half, the 1-carat RAPI index was 2.5% higher than in the beginning of 2018 and increased 1% in the 12 months that ended September 1.
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*January 1, 2018, to September 1, 2018. **September 1, 2017, to September 1, 2018
Dealers were conservative during August while preparing for the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, which begins September 12.
Expectations for the show are mixed, with suppliers hoping to assess prospects for the Far East market amid US-China trade tensions and the weaker yuan. Hong Kong-based jewelers, having reported strong growth in the first six months, are more cautious about the second half of the year, and that may impact spending at the show.
Indian dealers and cutters are concerned about reduced bank credit since the alleged $2 billion Nirav Modi bank fraud, as well as the devaluation of the rupee, which hit a record low of INR 70.80/$1 on September 3.
Demand has slowed for smaller and lower-value diamonds due to caution in India and China. Cutters have shifted away from melee, focusing on under-the-carat GIA dossiers. There is good demand for nice SIs, which are difficult to find.
The US market is stable, with retailers optimistic for the holiday season. Sentiment improved after Signet Jewelers and Tiffany & Co. reported positive earnings in the second quarter and department stores Macy’s and J.C. Penney noted good jewelry sales.
While both the US and China have stimulated growth so far in 2018, Rapaport expects US demand will support the diamond trade in the remaining months; Chinese tourist spending is likely to slow during the October 1 Golden Week retail season, given the currency depreciation.
About the Rapaport RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™): The RAPI is the average asking price in hundred $/ct. of the 10% best-priced diamonds, for each of the top 25 quality round diamonds (D-H, IF-VS2, GIA-graded, RapSpec-A3 and better) offered for sale on RapNet - Rapaport Diamond Trading Network. www.RapNet.com has daily listings of approximately 1.6 million diamonds valued at approximately $7.4 billion. Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net.
About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added-value services that support the development of ethical, transparent, competitive and efficient diamond and jewelry markets. Established in 1976, the Group has more than 20,000 clients in over 121 countries. Group activities include Rapaport Information Services, providing the Rapaport benchmark Price List for diamonds, as well as research, analysis and news; RapNet; Rapaport Laboratory Services, providing GIA and Rapaport gemological services in India, Israel and Belgium; and Rapaport Trading and Auction Services, the world’s largest recycler of diamonds, selling over 500,000 carats of diamonds a year. Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net.
Used with permission of Rapaport USA, Inc. Copyright © 2018 Rapaport USA Inc. All rights reserved.