New York–Following declines in May ahead of the Las Vegas shows, polished diamond prices were down again last month, the Rapaport Group said in its monthly diamond price report.
The RapNet Diamond Index for 1-carat, GIA-graded diamonds fell 0.5 percent in June. Meanwhile, RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds dropped 1.6 percent and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds slid 0.4 percent.
Prices for 3-carat diamonds declined 2.4 percent.
The Rapaport Group said sentiment softened in June after relatively weak Las Vegas and Hong Kong shows. Overall demand was sluggish but offset slightly by “steady” U.S. demand.
Brexit, the upcoming presidential election in the U.S. and continued weakness in China’s luxury sector also are fueling uncertainty.
In the second quarter of the year, RAPI for 1-carat diamonds fell 0.7 percent, offsetting some of the gains made in the first three months of the year, RapNet said. According to them, diamond markets slowed during the quarter, with some buyers pushing for deeper discounts.
The group added that polished inventory continued to increase as prices were under pressure.
Rough trading, meanwhile, was steady in June but slowed after the De Beers sight.
The company said rough diamond sales for its fifth sales cycle of the year were $560 million.
This is down from the $636 million sold in the fourth quarter, which also saw a decrease from the prior sales cycle and marked the first drop since the company started disclosing its rough diamond sales data on a cycle-by-cycle basis.
“Sales in the fifth cycle of the year were somewhat lower than in the fourth cycle, in line with our expectations and typical seasonal demand patterns,” CEO Philippe Mellier said. “Rough diamond demand and polished prices remain stable, reflecting steady consumer demand, but we maintain a cautious outlook.”