Diamond market overview
In the run up to Thanksgiving in the US market, polished traders reported last minute orders from US retailers. Although in the dealer market, trading activity was slower, which some traders attributed to India’s Diwali holiday. With the festive season around the corner in the main US market, the trade will be closely watching indicators on consumer spending. According to a recent survey by BDO USA, US retailers are in a “wait and see” mode this holiday season. It said chief marketing officers surveyed at leading US retailers forecast a modest 2.5% increase in 2013 holiday comparable store sales, compared to 3.7% last year. Meanwhile, there were reports of lacklustre demand for diamond jewellery in India. The Times of India reported a 20% drop in demand for diamond jewellery this Diwali. In the broader market, the main PolishedPrices index drifted lower during the week in light volumes, opening at 139.28 points on Friday, from Monday’s opening at 143.41.
Traders provided mixed indications for the state of the rough market. The first sale of De Beers in Botswana received positive feedback from most sightholders attending the sight this past week. De Beers reportedly held a small sight of around $400 million and provided favourable assortments to sightholders, which many said had lifted sentiment. While some sightholders said the market had improved, others said the demand situation remained weak, whilst liquidity continued to be a serious problem. A number of sightholders deferred their December allocations in the face of weak market conditions. One sightholder said: “There were certainly of deferrals, but there were also some surprising premiums (on rough boxes), so it is very likely for De Beers to increase the prices.”
Corporate and events
Tiffany & Co. said Chief Financial Officer Patrick F. McGuiness will resign from his post effective Nov. 27, marking another management change at the high-end jewelry retailer in recent months, Wall Street Journal reported. James N. Fernandez, the company’s current chief operating officer, will take over the CFO role on an interim basis, and Tiffany’s board of directors has authorized a search to identify candidates for the position, the company said Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the WSJ report.
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Diamond has lost its sparkle in the domestic market. There has been a 20% drop in demand for diamond jewellery this Diwali, The Times of India reported. Even the ensuing wedding season is seeing a reversal of the trend, according to the Times of India report.
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London-listed Gem Diamonds’ 70%-owned Letšeng diamond mine, in Lesotho, continued to perform well during the period stretching from July 1 to November 14, with the recovery of 13 exceptional diamonds that achieved prices of more than $1 million each, totalling $42.6 million, Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said on Friday, miningweekly reported. This brought the total amount of diamonds produced this year with a value of more than $1 million to 22, the miningweekly report said.
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Picture Gem Diamonds