De Beers: India The Third-biggest Diamond Market
lobal diamond jewellery demand rose three per cent to exceed $80 billion for the first time in 2014 – representing the fifth year of consecutive growth since the global recession – while global rough diamond production rose 6% to $19 billion, according to the De Beers Diamond Insight Report 2015.
Consumer demand in 2014 grew in each of the top five diamond consuming markets – the US, China, Japan, India and the Gulf – which account for 75% of global demand. The strength of the US dollar suppressed further global growth, which at constant exchange rates amounted to almost 5%.
In the last decade alone, the Indian market has nearly trebled in size to about crore ($3.3 billion). The brief contraction in 2013, caused by the depreciating purchasing power of the rupee and a weakening of the broader Indian economy, reversed in 2014.
Sustained growth has been driven by a widening consumer base and increasing volumes of diamond jewellery sales. Around 25 lakh pieces of diamond jewellery were acquired by Indian women in 2013, roughly six times the number acquired in 2002.
As a result, India has risen up the global diamond ‘ league table’ and in 2014 the country was the world’s third-largest consumer market for polished diamonds, with an 8% share of global demand (measured in polished wholesale value in USD) placing it behind only the US and China, the report states.
Surprise gifting from male partners in India is limited, with only 2% of women reporting this kind of gift in 2013. Nonbridal diamond acquisitions account for the vast majority of diamond demand in value terms in India. The definition of bridal women in the De Beers study includes women who got married in the survey year and mothers of brides in the same period. Bridal diamond jewellery is the jewellery acquired by these women specifically for the occasion of the wedding in the survey year.
In contrast to other main diamond markets around the world where bridal jewellery includes solitaire diamond engagement rings and eternity-type wedding bands, bridal jewellery in India comprises mainly large gold pieces with numerous small diamonds.
In terms of product type bought, rings have gained share among diamond jewellery pieces purchased in India in recent years and, with almost 50% share in 2013, they are the most popular product.
The non-bridal segment makes up 96% of total demand among Indian women in SEC A/B non-Elite and Elite groups, compared with 68% of the total women’s diamond market in the US, for example. The non-bridal segment is also growing quicker than the bridal sector in India, expanding at four times the rate of the bridal sector since 2002. This contrasts sharply with the US, where the bridal segment has taken share from non-bridal over the same period.
Despite the strong performance in 2014, the report notes that the continued