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Namibia-De Beers talks scheduled to end in June
isak_katali_x.jpgDe Beers and the Namibian government have been negotiating over a new diamond-sales agreement for quite some time now. The envisaged new deal would replace a 2007 agreement that allowed De Beers to sell the stones through the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), a joint venture between Windhoek and De Beers. Namibia’s mines and energy minister Isak Katali told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa on the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town recently that the negotiations are now envisaged to end in June this year, if not earlier.

The gemmological education is very important for the industry to build a sound and strong edifice
bakul_mehta_x.jpgThe Gemmological Institute of India (GII) plays an important role in the local diamond industry, offering a broad range of services, which include diamond grading and certification, detection of diamond treatments and identification of synthetic diamonds, as well as research and gemological education courses highly popular and widely recognized in the trade in India and abroad having trained more than 5,000 students. The GII runs the only gem and diamond-testing laboratory in Mumbai fully equipped with state-of-the-art instruments. Bakul Mehta, Chairman of the GII, answers the questions from Rough&Polished in the exclusive interview below.

Let us go back to the magic – Stéphane Fischler
stephane_fischler_x.jpgOn February 1 to 3, Antwerp hosted the sixth Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) welcoming hundreds of buyers not only from the world’s established jewelry markets, but this time also from the markets, which until recently remained largely unexplored. In his address during the opening ceremony, AWDC President Stéphane Fischler said the ADTF was an important link in Antwerp's annual promotional and marketing campaigns. On the 2 of February, having arrived to Moscow to bid last farewell to Fyodor Andreev, ex-President of ALROSA, Stéphane Fischler gave an interview to Rough & Polished, in which, speaking about the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, raised a number of other issues of current concern to the global diamond industry.

Fiona Solomon: India and Asia are in the focus of RJC
fiona_solomon_x.jpgSolomon Fiona (Fiona Solomon), Director of Standards Development at the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) gave an exclusive interview to Rough&Polished and told about the main activities of this organization and its achievements in the past year and prospects for 2015.



News

27.02.2015
Botswana Diamonds, Alrosa focus exploration work on 3 Orapa licence areas
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) and its exploration partner Alrosa will this year focus their work on three licence areas covering more than 1 000 km2 in Orapa, Botswana.

27.02.2015
Kennady intersects 80 meters of kimberlite at Kelvin
Kennady Diamonds Inc. announced that kimberlite has been intersected over approximately 80 meters in the latest Kelvin delineation drill hole.

27.02.2015
Peregrine Diamonds confirms a 8.57 million carat inferred resource at CH-6 kimberlite
Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. issued a new National Instrument technical report for its 582,477 hectare Chidliak project and the adjacent 51,147 hectare Qilaq project, located approximately 120 kilometres north-east of Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut.



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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