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Over the long term, we can expect to see a supply shortfall and rising prices - Ali Pastorini
ali_pastorini_x.jpgAli Pastorini, Director of Marketing of the World Jewelry Hub (WJH), in an interview to Rough & Polished talked about the goals set before the WJH, described the main trends and challenges currently facing the world jewelry and diamond markets and delineated the role of China and India.

Legal framework should predominantly be aimed at creating equal conditions for doing business
flun_gumerov_x.jpgFlun Gumerov is the President of Almaz-Holding, a jewelry company based and operating in Russia (it has been working in the Russian market since 1993 and is one of the leading firms in the country). He is also a member of the Kostroma Regional Duma (Parliament) and a member of Business Russia, which is an all-Russia social action organization. Being one of the participants of the Expert Council within the State Duma Committee on Natural Resources, Environmental Management and Ecology he combines this work with his activity as a member of the General Council of the Russian Jewelers Guild. Flun Gumerov was awarded the Honor Badge “150th Anniversary of Mikhail Perkhin” by the Commemorative Foundation of Karl Faberge for his outstanding contribution to the development of Russian jewelry art.

Fabio D'Amico: We do not allow neither overgrading nor undergrading
fabio_d_amico_x.jpgFabio D'Amico, CEO of Milan-based Gemological Education Certification Institute (GECI) told about the work performed by his Institute and in particular about the services it offers in his interview to Rough&Polished.

To start an e-commerce venture, it is very important to stick to the quality and assurance

akshay_kothari_x.jpgAkshay Kothari is the Founder and CEO of www.hsk.in, an e-commerce portal, which sells diamond jewellery across India. Having completed his graduation from H.R. College, Mumbai and specialization in Jewellery Gemologist from GIA, Carlsbad, he joined his family business of diamond jewellery manufacturing in Mumbai. With almost a decade experience in the field, Akshay is a second-generation jeweller with a creative bent of mind. Under his supervision,’Hema S. Kothari’ has seen exponential growth from being a small household jeweller to a designer jewellery label. Speaking with Rough&Polished, Akshay shares his plans for the future in the very competitive arena of e-commerce, which is getting crowded by the day.




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Cautious prognosis for diamond market after ‘good’ holiday season

30.01.2012

Rockwell Diamonds, which operates alluvial diamond mines in South Africa, said recently that anecdotal evidence suggests that diamond jewellery sales in the United States were better during the last Christmas season than the year before.

This, it said, is expected to assist in the liquidation of inventory with the resultant cash flow improvement rolling over into the January and February rough diamond purchasing period.

Rapaport Group also noted that confidence had improved in the diamond industry since January 1, following a period of relative price stability and a “satisfactory” United States holiday season.

Jewellery seller, Tiffany & Co said that worldwide Christmas-season sales rose 7 percent year on year to $952 million for the two months that ended on December 31.

It said retail sales rose 4 percent to $503 million across the Americas, which include the U.S., Canada and Latin America, while sales leaped 19 percent to $165 million in the Asia-Pacific.

Japan recorded a sales increase of 13 percent to $160 million, it said, adding that Europe sales improved by 1 percent to $117 million.

Rockwell expects diamond prices and demand to increase through the first half of 2012, while Rapaport cautioned that there were concerns whether current price levels were sustainable due to the adverse economic conditions.

The question, however, is whether the conditions that led to a dip in the diamond market during the second half of 2011 were still prevalent.

According to Rapaport the decline recorded during the second half of 2011 was influenced by increasing uncertainty caused by the U.S. and European economic crises, volatile financial, currency and commodity markets, as well as continued political instability in the Mideast.

It said tight liquidity, particularly in India, also impacted trading from July as manufacturers were unable to obtain replacement costs on the high rough prices they had paid earlier in the year.

Clearly, these factors are still prevalent and largely expected to continue influencing the market this year.

The World Bank recently slashed its global economic growth forecasts and warned that rich nations' debt problems may yet reap a crisis that would eclipse the tumult of 2008.

It noted that although the financial turmoil appeared contained at the moment, the risk of a much broader freezing up of capital markets and a global crisis similar in magnitude to the Lehman crisis remains.

It is such a gloomy picture that will largely affect the performance of the diamond market particularly, in the U.S and Europe.

However, this might not be the case in China and to some extend India, which saw its economic growth decelerate in part, last year, because of domestic policy tightening.

Diamonds.net said sentiment in the U.S about prospects for the coming months was mixed as it remains to be seen whether large retailers will build inventories at the same pace as last year.

It also said polished trading remains relatively slow in India due to weak domestic demand and caution by buyers about the general market.

Rough trading was slow but activity is expected to improve in the coming weeks as the January sight cycle begins.

“There is sufficient supply of goods in the market but very few transactions are taking place due to wide price differentials,” it said.

“Large manufactures have maintained their production levels while small and medium size cutters are operating at well below capacity.”

Chinese buyers on the other hand were currently focused on filling last-minute orders before the Chinese New Year begins on January 23, but a slowdown was expected in the coming weeks as the focus turns to the retail market, Diamonds.net said. 

By and large it appears the market will pick in some regions and slow in others.

However, with the economic uncertainty that characterized the better part of the second half of 2011 still hovering above the diamond market, despite good business recorded during the holiday season, it is tricky, as Rockwell Diamonds did, to conclude that all will be rosy during the first half of year.

Predicting the performance of the diamond market this year, especially at this stage is problematic; hence caution is the buzz word.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished

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