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Diamond Prices Stable in May

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Business Wire IndiaPolished diamond trading was sluggish in May, with dealers waiting for this week’s Las Vegas shows to get better deals and assess the pulse of the market. Suppliers held prices firm for new polished production they hoped to sell in Las Vegas, but were willing to reduce prices on leftover old stock. Buyers avoided making large inventory purchases before the show.
 
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 1-carat, GIA-graded diamonds declined 0.3% in May and was down 1.7% since the beginning of the year.
 
RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
 
  May YTD Jan. 1, 2017 – June 1, 2017 Y2Y June 1, 2016 – June 1, 2017
RAPI 0.30 ct. 0.0% 5.3% 2.2%
RAPI 0.50 ct. -1.4% -7.0% -12.4%
RAPI 1 ct. -0.3% -1.7% -7.7%
RAPI 3 ct. 0.4% 2.8% 0.2%
 
© Copyright 2017, Rapaport USA Inc.
 
The Rapaport Monthly Report – June 2017 notes that rough diamond prices firmed 1% to 2% during the month, with De Beers and Alrosa limiting supply, and manufacturers raising polished production. Rough prices increased an estimated 4% since the beginning of the year.
 
Chinese demand has been supporting the market as consumer spending in mainland China improves, while US demand has been restrained ahead of the Las Vegas shows. US jewelers are also adapting to a changing consumer environment, which is impacting their inventory requirements. 
 
Disappointing first-quarter sales at Signet Jewelers and Tiffany & Co. highlighted shifts in the retail environment and a slowdown in jewelry demand. The major jewelers noted a highly promotional environment as department stores tried to win back customers and independent jewelers were liquidating at deeper discounts. Consumers are increasingly looking for better deals online and avoiding crowded shopping malls.
 
There is opportunity for savvy independent jewelers to gain market share. Jewelers that are investing in social-media marketing and innovation and adapting to changing consumer needs are doing well. Those stuck in the old way of doing business are struggling.
 
Diamond companies that can demonstrate an ability to add value to such jewelers in this changing marketplace will have a successful show, setting themselves up for the end-of-year holiday season.
 
The Rapaport Monthly Report is available at store.rapaport.com/monthly-report.

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