Large diamonds and fancy colours a hit at Basel

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Latest figures from Rapaport forecast stable diamond demand in Q2.

Rapaport has released its polished and rough diamond market figures for the month of April, noting a slow in demand for diamonds due to Passover and the beginning of India’s slower summer season.

The latest report states that polished markets were quiet in April as dealers in Belgium and Israel closed during the Passover holiday, with BaselWorld revealing a growing interest in 10ct-plus stones.

The positive momentum outlined in March, thanks to the Hong Kong show, dwindled slightly but demand remains selective, with 0.30 to 0.40ct, G colour, VS to SI clarity stones the most popular, driven by rising Chinese demand.

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Dealers at BaselWorld reported a strong market for top quality large diamonds, in particular those over 10cts, as well as fancy intense pink and blue diamonds, and very finely cut fancy shapes.

However, those dealing in commercial quality goods said that the show was otherwise slow and "not worth the rising costs incurred to attend".

According to Rapaport rough trading also slowed slightly in April compared to March this year. Rough trading was stable in April despite the price hikes implemented at the beginning of the month.

De Beers raised its rough prices by between 3% and 8% at its April sight which had an estimated value of $650 million (£417m).

Latest data shows there appears to be sufficient rough supply to satisfy polished demand and there continues to be steady demand for rough that yields polished in the popular VS to SI categories.

Manufacturers expect rough supply to increase slightly in the coming months given the marginal year on year rise in production levels in the first quarter.

Trading volume remained relatively low in April as the second quarter continues to be a traditionally slower period for the diamond trade. Cutting centres were quiet and additional short-term rough price increases appeared unsustainable and were not supported by polished demand.

Rapaport states that consumer demand is steady but not booming in the current period. Therefore, markets are expected to remain stable but cautious in the months ahead. Sentiment is weak but continued polished price stability may help boost confidence in the second half of the year.

 

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