Diamond industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar of Tacy Ltd opened the afternoon session of the final day of Israel Diamond Week with a presentation on the ‘State of the International Diamond Industry’.
Even-Zohar covered topics including diamond prices, banking debt and the global retail demand for diamonds, as well as the issues of synthetic diamonds in the gem diamond market and the impact of recycled goods on the market.
For this year’s annual diamond pipeline, Even-Zohar has added gem quality synthetic diamonds and recycled goods, since both of these goods affect the diamond market significantly. According to Even-Zohar’s lowest calculations, some US$0.5 billion out of US$22 billion on the diamond market last year was synthetically produced. Even-Zohar forecast that rough diamond prices would not increase in any meaningful manner in 2013 or 2014, and that supply and demand would be in equilibrium.
Concerning the financial status of the diamond industry, Even-Zohar said that the “industry’s financial situation has never been better.” During the global financial crisis, “money came back into the business as people brought money from home,” he explained. Even-Zohar discussed the banking debt of global diamond centers such as India and Israel, and reassured the audience that “worldwide, the diamond industry has a very good name in terms of the banking risk”.
Regarding the issue of synthetic diamonds being traded on the gem diamond market without being declared as such, Even-Zohar warned that the industry faces a problem concerning this issue. “The diamond industry has to start thinking about what it does in those situations,” he warned. According to locals in Surat in India, between 5% and 7% of 1, 2 and 3 pointers are synthetic stones, said Even-Zohar. He explained that most of the synthetics are being set in jewelry before being exported, and hence do not enter the gem diamond market.
Turning to recycled goods, which Even-Zohar estimates reached US$1.2 billion last year, he noted, “The other thing impacting pipeline level is the pawn shops. That business is a huge business. Many companies now have a business model of buying recycling goods. It impacts prices whether you like it or not,” he said.
Even-Zohar concluded by calling on the industry to take action concerning the loss of diamond jewelry from the consumer share of luxury goods. “We are losing our attraction to the consumer and losing their wallet share. There is something fundamentally wrong. We are competing with other products and we are losing. We need to capture back our share of the consumer wallet,” he explained.
Author Michelle Moshelian