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RapNet: Polished Diamond Prices Down in December but Sentiment Improved

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According to the Rapaport Monthly Report – January 2017, polished diamond prices fell in December following the Indian demonetization policy eliminating 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, which hurt the country’s liquidity. In addition, trading slowed with dealers taking vacation during the holiday period.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds fell 1.3% in December, was up 0.2% for 0.30-carat diamonds, fell 2.2% for 0.50-carat stones, and declined 1% for 3-carat diamonds. 1-carat diamonds fell 3% in the fourth quarter and 5% for the full year.

According to the report, despite the slowdown, sentiment improved as US consumer confidence rose. Indian jewelry sales have slowed and are expected “to remain subdued during the first half due to demonetization”. In addition, rough demand slowed and polished inventory declined with very little new supply available. The number of diamonds listed on RapNet fell 7% in December, but rose 21% throughout 2016.

As for q1 2016, the report predicts that polished trading will improve “as jewelry retailers replenish stock sold during the holiday shopping season”. Rough demand is also projected to rise as manufacturers “ramp up production to meet short-term polished demand”.
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