New York–The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for the month of August shows that prices for 1-carat polished goods slid again while prices for 3-carat stones and smaller goods remained flat or rose slightly.
The RAPI for 1-carat polished diamonds fell 1 percent, has fallen 2 percent year-to-date (Jan. 1 to Sept. 1) and is down 5 percent year-over-year.
For 0.30-carat stones, the index was flat in August and year-to-date and is up 3 percent year-over-year.
The RAPI for 3-carat polished diamonds rose very slightly in August (0.2 percent) but is down 10 percent year-to-date and 15 percent compared to a year ago. For half-carat stones, the index increased 0.2 percent in August, is up 4 percent year-to-date and year-over-year.
In its monthly report, Rapaport said that the diamond markets are “conservative” as buyers remain selective and price sensitive.
Suppliers are hoping that the upcoming Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair will stimulate stronger trading but the trade remains “deeply concerned” about the upcoming holidays season following a slow summer and disappointing second quarter results from Tiffany & Co. and Signet Jewelers.
De Beers’ Sales
Also this week, De Beers announced the results for its seventh sales cycle of the year.
The diamond miner and marketer sold about $630 million in rough diamonds in its seventh sales cycle of the year, and revised its sixth-cycle figure upward, from the $520 million initially reported to $528 million.
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver called the seventh-cycle demand “healthy,” noting that manufacturers are seeing demand for rough diamonds ahead of the holiday season.
Here’s how De Beers’ rough diamond sales have tracked so far this year.
First sales cycle: $545 million
Second: $617 million
Third: $666 million
Fourth: $636 million
Fifth: $564 million
Sixth: $528 million
Seventh: $630 million (provisional)