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De Beers cautiously optimistic for outlook in major consumer markets
excl_31082015_x.jpgDiamond giant De Beers, which has so far this year adjusted its sales terms for sightholders due to weak diamond market, has said that it is cautiously optimistic for the outlook in the major consumer markets for the all-important end of year selling season. De Beers Group head of media relations Lynette Gould told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa from her base in London that demand conditions in the near term would be dependent upon consumer demand, retail stocking appetite and the rate of midstream inventory depletion. She also commented on the group’s move to provide increased deferral flexibility in sightholder sales as well as its new licences that were granted in Botswana and South Africa.

GIA’s Global Leadership Program - Building Bridges between Different Sectors of Global Gem and Jewelry Supply Chain
kathryn_kimmel_x.jpgThe Gemological Institute of America (GIA), well-known for its wide range of education programs, launched yet another training course last year in team with the Harvard Business School (HBS), this time bringing together senior gem and jewelry executives from around the world and offering them an opportunity to discuss challenges facing the industry within the frames of the Global Leadership Program. After a successful start-up, the second edition of this Program was run on June 15-18, 2015 and turned to be in the opinion of one of its participants “a splendid platform for peers from all walks of the industry to discuss and exchange ideas”. Rough&Polished asked Kathryn Kimmel, GIA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer to tell more about this educational initiative and here is what she said.

Pangolin optimistic of finding diamonds in Botswana
leon_daniels_x.jpgPangolin Diamonds, which prides itself as one of the few exploration companies doing “real” diamond exploration, is optimistic of finding diamonds in Botswana, the world’s leading diamond producing country by value. Company president and chief executive Dr. Leon Daniels told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa that current results in the Malatswae Project suggest they are close to discovery. He said the unusual number of diamonds Pangolin had found in a small area of the Malatswae Project strongly indicate that any discovery in the area would be diamondiferous. Daniels said his company should be a producer, not an explorer within the next five years. He also spoke about the company’s other projects in Botswana.

Our business is built on trust and confidence and so it is critical that we remain optimistic - Ernest Blom
ernie_blom_x.jpgA third generation diamantaire, Ernie Blom is now President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) for the third term. He has served on a range of industry bodies as an executive and chairman for many years, including Chairman, Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa; Chairman, Rough Diamond Dealers Association; Chairman, Master Diamond Cutters Association; Chairman, Jewellery Council of South Africa, South African Diamond Board; and is a Special Diplomatic Advisor to the Belgium government on trade with Africa. In an interview with Rough&Polished, Ernie Blom speaks about the various concerns of the global diamond industry at present.



News

01.09.2015
KPSC statistics: India largest importer of rough in 2014
The recently released 2014 Annual Global Summary report of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, in which the recent production and import-export of rough figures were announced, shows that while India continues to be the largest direct importer of rough with a 37.5% share of global rough imports.

01.09.2015
Summer edition of International Diamond Week kicks off in Israel
The Summer Edition of the International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI) kicked off on Sunday, August 30, with some 400 buyers attending the event.

01.09.2015
GJEPC delegation meets Surat Bourse officials to explore potential locations for a SNZ
A delegation of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), led by Gujarat Regional Chairman Dineshbhai Nevadia met with officials of Gujarat Hira Bourse and Surat Hira Bourse in Surat on Aug. 25, to review the two locations as possible sites for a Special Notified Zone (SNZ) for rough diamond trading, according to a statement from the GJEPC.



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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