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Ori Fluk: I do not see grounds for a rise in prices for rough diamonds in the nearest future

19 october 2009

YEI - Yahalomei Espeka International, a well-known Israeli company, which is an established sightholder of De Beers, has undergone re-structuring. Since July 31, 2009 YEI remains a holding company but stops trading activity. YEI – YDI (Yoshfe Diamonds International), a new affiliated company incorporated on August 1, 2009, carries out a full cycle of operations: manufacturing, aggregation and sales of diamonds. It is part of the YEI Group, which is a sightholder of DTC and the fourth company in Israel in terms of diamond export. The quality of polished diamonds and reliability of their deliveries remain the priorities pursued by YDI operating under the Fluk family. Ori Fluk, Executive Director of YDI Ltd. (whose father, Abraham Fluk, is the company’s founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors), answered the questions posed by the Rough&Polished observer.

How has the crisis affected your company and the diamond market in Israel as a whole?

The crisis resulted in decreased sales turnover and lowered cost of stocks due to cash-squeezed clients. We have reduced production and sales – and it was a correct decision. Now we are gradually revving up and intend to stay on the market. If the market will be developing positively, we shall be gathering momentum and if not - we shall improvise.

Taking into account the growing unemployment in the countries which are major consumers of your goods (the United States and Japan), what is your forecast for diamond jewelry sales in the short term and long term?

In the short term: people still continue to create families, marry and celebrate anniversaries and in this connection they buy diamond jewelry as gifts, but they buy what they can afford – less expensive goods and in smaller quantities. In the long term: I hope, the economy will start to recover and people will again find work and start buying more jewelry.

What can be expected in terms of prices for rough diamonds in your opinion?

Prices will remain stable. Today people are not inclined to gamble on resale of rough. If they do not see any gain, they do not buy. I do not see grounds for a rise in prices for rough diamonds in the nearest future.

Do you see trends to improvement on the polished market? What can facilitate changes to the best on the diamond market?

Undoubtedly, the economy develops cyclically and though all of us are still in the crisis phase, I hope that sooner or later it will end. Improvement of economic conditions, more favorable market conditions, and growing demand in emerging markets will help to recover from the crisis.

What categories of diamonds are most sought now?

Stones of high quality and good color grade, as well as good certified products.

Which countries currently demonstrate the greatest demand for diamonds?

China and to a lesser degree the Far East – Japan and Korea. To some extent demand is maintained even in the United States.

Galina Semyonova, Rough&Polished