In many respects, 2013 was a momentous, albeit frustrating, year for the diamond industry. There were plenty of positive milestones achieved that will continue to leave their mark for years to come. However, from a trading point of view, the market was as tough as ever with manufacturers struggling to garner respectable profit margins.
Indeed, choosing a “story of the year” is often a matter of perspective.
When talking with diamond manufacturers and dealers, they might list their lack of profitability as the primary issue affecting the market this year. Manufacturers were squeezed as rough prices rose, while polished prices fell. There were, of course, pockets of strong activity with steady U.S. and Far East demand and price increases for 0.30-carat to 0.49-carat diamonds. Still, prices for most other sizes fell, as reflected in the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI). An in-depth review of prices will be published shortly in the upcoming Rapaport Diamond Statistics Annual Report 2013 in the January edition of Rapaport Magazine.