The Rapaport monthly report states that polished diamond prices fell in June as Brexit, the US election and continued weakness in China’s luxury sector fuel uncertainty.
The report says steady US demand is supporting the market but overall demand is sluggish.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat, GIA-graded diamonds fell in 0.5% in June. RAPI for 0.30ct diamonds dropped 1.6% and RAPI for 0.50ct diamonds slid 0.4%. RAPI for 3ct diamonds declined the most by 2.4%.
RAPI for 1-carat diamonds fell 0.7% in the second quarter, reversing some of the gains made in the first three months of the year. The index rose 0.7% in the first half of 2016.
The report says diamond markets slowed in the second quarter with selective buyers pushing for deeper discounts. Polished inventory continued to rise and prices came under pressure, while rough trading remained resilient. There is steady demand for commercial-quality SI-clarity goods, while demand is weak for better quality and large diamonds.
Rough trading was steady in June but slowed after the De Beers sight. De Beers sold $560 million (£431m) worth of rough in June and its sales increased 12% to an estimated $3.02 billion (£2.32bn) in the first half of the year. De Beers and ALROSA kept prices steady on average but prices have started to soften on the secondary market and at auctions.
Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, comments: “The diamond industry is being challenged by low profitability, tight liquidity and sluggish demand. It is vital that rough diamond producers maintain price levels that ensure profitability and liquidity in the manufacturing sector during these uncertain times. Producers must increase their marketing spend to ensure generic diamond engagement ring demand from U.S. Millennial consumers.”