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We are seeing a slow and steady rise in demand for diamond jewellery - Joy Alukkas
joy_alukkas_x.jpgJoy Alukkas, Chairman and MD of Joyalukkas Group set up his first shop in Abu Dhabi in 1987, which grew into a jewellery retail chain and continued expansion to countries like India, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Today, the Joyalukkas Group is involved in various businesses other than jewellery, which includes Money Exchange Centres, Luxury Aviation, Malls, Fashion & Silks and Realty. And, in a span of just two decades, the Group has grown into a multi-billion global conglomerate. In an interview with Rough & Polished, Joy Alukkas speaks about his dreams and plans for the future of Joyalukkas Group.

There are immense potentialities in India for diamond mining - T. M. Babu
tirumala_babu_x.jpgDr. T. M. Babu is an exploration geologist with 40 years of worldwide experience investigating diamonds, gold, tin, platinum, copper, and other rare metals in many parts of the world. He was associated with the Government of India in the Planning Commission and the Geological Survey of India, United Nations Development Programme (USA), BRGM (France), Wardrop Engineering Inc. (Canada), Kyrgyzstan, Coronation International (UK) and several international organizations. He has authored many books related to metals and mining and continues to do so till date... Here, Dr. Babu shares his thoughts with Rough&Polished on his work in geology.

In the diamond business, you are best served with a good measure of optimism, a long term view and lots of hard work
shmuel_schnitzer_preview.jpgThe Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) dates back to 1937 and is now the world’s largest diamond trading facility giving roof to approximately 3,500 members representing the whole gamut of businesses associated with the treasured mineral. The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the IDE and Russia’s ALROSA at the International Diamond Week in Israel blessed by Israel's President Reuven Rivlin may ginger up the bilateral turnover adding value to the economies of both countries. Shmuel Schnitzer, President of IDE, in his interview to Rough&Polished told about the role of the Israel Diamond Exchange and shared the latest data on the performance of the diamond industry in his country.

“We believe in the superior craftsmanship of our Belgian Master Cutters”
jean_claude_muller_x.jpgS. Muller & Sons founded in 1955 is now a world-renowned diamond manufacturer managed by the third generation of diamantaires led by Jean Claude Muller, the company’s CEO. S. Muller & Sons has an in-house diamond factory, one of the few that still remain in Antwerp, which is producing the now famous Hearts & Arrows Diamonds. The company’s involvement in Hearts & Arrows initiated with its relationship with Mr. Takanori Tamura, the inventor of the Eight-Star Diamond. While attending the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair last February, our correspondents – helped by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and S. Muller & Sons - took an opportunity to visit the company’s diamond factory, which resulted in the interview with Jean Claude Muller below.



News

27.03.2015
De Beers expects exponential sales growth in China for diamond jewellery
Following China's 6% growth in diamond jewellery sales in year 2014, retailers in the country look forward to another year of solid growth, according to Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice President of Marketing at De Beers Group of Companies.

27.03.2015
Zimbabwe diamond exports continue to decline
The Mineral Marketing Corporation Zimbabwe (MMCZ) said the country’s diamond exports eased 33.7 percent to 5.9 million carats in 2014 from 8.9 million recorded the previous year.

27.03.2015
IDE to host International Rough Diamond Week in April
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) will hold its second International Rough Diamond Week (IRDW) from April 12-16, 2015, with a series of rough diamond tenders by ALROSA, De Beers Auction Sales, Rio Tinto Diamonds, I Hennig/ Fusion Alternatives and Tzoffey's.



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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