Rapaport Auctions sells over 135,000cts of polished for $28.9 million in 1Q
(NEW YORK) – The Rapaport Melee Index (RMI™) for small diamonds decreased by 4% to 124.50 during the first quarter of 2015. Year over year the index is down 9.5% from its level of 137.60 in March 2014.
Rapaport reports polished prices declined throughout the first quarter of 2015 as retailers were largely absent from the market and diamond trading remained slow in March. Jewelry retailers refrained from their usual first quarter buying and avoided unnecessary buildup of inventory. Diamond manufacturers significantly reduced their polished production in an effort to diminish their existing polished stock, as overall demand was weak and profit margins remained slim. Furthermore, liquidity continued to be tight due to weak demand, manufacturers’ lack of profitability, and the increased self-financing of rough purchases as banks restrict and reduce credit limits.
While the second quarter is a traditionally slow period, dealers are hoping that the market will stabilize as supply is reduced and shortages stimulate market demand in the coming months.
“The diamond industry is continuing to face challenging times and serious liquidity constraints as dealers struggle to operate profitably in an extended weak market. Demand remained slow in Q1 with the recent Hong Kong and Basel shows failing to stimulate trading activity,” said Ezi Rapaport, Director of Global Trading, Rapaport Group.
“There is uncertainty as to how long current conditions will last, with hesitation as to whether the market has hit bottom or if it will continue to spiral downward. Manufacturers are deferring rough purchases and are cutting down on new production with hopes that limited new supply will help stabilize declining prices and reduce current inventory.
“Rapaport Auctions held its largest auction to date in New York and Hong Kong last month with over 98,000 carats of diamonds. At this critical time we are maximizing our marketing and sales efforts to ensure that our clients can liquidate their diamonds at fair market prices and operate their business with consistent cash flow.”
To participate in Rapaport Auctions, companies are invited to visit www.rapaportauctions.com, contact Auction Support via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call their local Rapaport office. The Rapaport Group operates in compliance with the U.S. Patriot Act and OFAC regulations, and does not trade in diamonds from Marange, Zimbabwe.