Diamond Traders Hope Biz will Re­vive this Year

In­dus­try ex­pert De Beers says de­mand will re­vive as prices of both rough and pol­ished di­a­monds have sta­bilised

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Su­tanuka.Ghosal @times­group.com

Kolkata: Diamond busi­ness is likely to re­gain some sparkle this year af­ter the slump in 2015, ac­cord­ing to lead­ing com­pany De Beers, which ex­pects de­mand to re­vive as prices of both rough and pol­ished di­a­monds have sta­bilised. All the stake­hold­ers in the diamond in­dus­try can ex­pect a bet­ter year, Stephen Lussier, CEO, Forever­mark, De Beers told ET.

“But mar­ket play­ers are cau­tious as the macroe­co­nomic en­vi­ron­ment is still frag­ile,” Lussier said. “There are a lot of cur­rency is­sues in Europe and Ja­pan which if re­solved can give rise to a fur­ther spurt in diamond de­mand. China de­mand is yet to pick up,” he said.

Lussier said that the US con­tinu- es to be the growth driver, with sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in de­mand this year. Diamond min­ers had cut down their pro­duc­tion in 2015 and man­u­fac­tur­ers, mostly based in In­dia, had re­duced their off­take of rough diamond from min­ers ow­ing to the

de­cline in de­mand. “Sta­bil­ity in both rough and diamond prices will fur­ther boost de­mand,” Lussier said. De­mand for soli­taires is in­creas­ing in In­dia, a trend which Lussier said in­di­cates that the diamond mar­ket in the country is grad­u­ally gain­ing ma­tu­rity.

“In In­dia, Forever­mark di­a­monds are do­ing well. In Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary sales grew 30-40%. But the month-long strike in March on ac­count of im­po­si­tion of 1% ex­cise duty on gold and diamond jewellery af­fected the sales,” Lussier said. “How­ever, sales are ex­pected to pick up from this month through May when Ak­shaya Tri­tiya is cel­e­brated by In­di­ans,” he said. As per the lo­cal diamond re­tail­ers, de­mand for soli­taires is in­creas­ing more in north­ern and western In­dia and to a lesser ex­tent in south In­dia, where con­sumers mainly pre­fer gold and plat­inum jewellery. Gu­jarat, Ma­ha­rash­tra, Delhi, Pun­jab and Haryana are the ma­jor mar­kets for soli­taires.

Lussier, who has taken over as the chair­man of Diamond Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (DPA), said that the as­so­ci­a­tion will in­tro­duce its mar­ket­ing cam­paign at the JCK Las Ve­gas jewellery show in June. The cam­paign will come just over a year af­ter the DPA was formed in May 2015 by seven lead­ing diamond min­ers, with an ini­tial bud­get of $6 mil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.