Ari Epstein, Managing Director and Nishit Parikh, former President of Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), answered questions from the Rough&Polished correspondent in Brussels.
How do you evaluate the current situation in the diamond business?
I think the actual situation in diamond business is O’key. You know the conjuncture is always hitting us, it is going better. Today it might be a little beat slower, but I think in the coming months things will actually recup. So I think that we are actually doing very well.
How do you evaluate the behavior of ALROSA on the market?
I think that ALROSA of course is the most important player today on the market and I think that ALROSA will continue like that, because it is a very important, the most important mining company of today and actually also growing with growth perspectives.
What can you say about Rio Tinto and PHP Billiton going out of the business?
Of course, these mining companies are very important and very professional. We think that it is unfortunate that as a brand they leave the business. But of course people leaving the business create opportunity for people who want to take over that part of business. I think diamond mining is a very lucrative, very interesting business, so I think we will find very liable partners to interact with them and to cooperate with these two existing mining companies.
NISHIT PARIKH :
What is your view of the situation on the diamond market? Do you expect any problems in the nearest future?
The profitability in the business is not dead. America is going strongly, but the rest of the world is slowing down a beat. We have to see. The situation with the profitability is not dangerous now.
Are you worried by the intentions of some mining giants to leave the diamond business?
Everything has an opportunity. It is not good that they are leaving, but I do not think it is a big problem, because for them the diamond business was too small, so they would not want to concentrate.
Are you satisfied with prices for rough and polished diamonds?
Not so much. Polished is a bit quiet, rough is a bit stronger.
What is you prognosis for prices?
Either rough has to come down or polished has to go up, because at this moment in time there is no profitability in the middle of the pipeline where we are. So one of the two has to give and I hope polished will go up.