WFDB Executive Committee Debates Vital Trade Issues
“In such challenging times for the global diamond trade, it was vital to hear the views of executive committee colleagues from across the world ahead of the Presidents Meeting in Dubai in September.”
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) held an executive committee meeting at the Israel Diamond Exchange on June 24th, discussing a wide variety of subjects vital to the industry, as well as moves to enhance the relevance of the organisation. The executive committee also heard a review of synthetic diamonds and the state of the diamond trade globally from Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, as well as a presentation on blockchain, which it believes is the future.
Among the other issues discussed was the System of Warranties, led by London Diamond Bourse president Alan Cohen, and the WFDB social media campaign being run by Rami Baron, president of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia.
The executive committee approved the appointment of an external advisor – former Dubai Diamond Exchange chairman Peter Meeus.
Rapaport spoke of the growing role of lab-grown diamonds and how the diamond trade needs to point out to consumers that such
stones are not a store of value and that their price will eventually fall substantially. He also spoke about the general state of the diamond trade, saying that the Chinese market was reasonable and the US market was strong.
Rapaport spoke about the difficulty of sales to millennials, and that the core US engagement ring sector was not particularly strong. Meanwhile, the midstream part of the pipeline is under extreme pressure. He also raised other issues for discussion, such as the need for increased transparency and origin of supply. He explained that melee goods have been losing value since January and that there is a serious concern that prices for this category of goods of lower quality and purity will decline further.
“We had an extremely productive meeting with robust debates on a wide range of topics,” said WFDB president Ernie Blom. “In such challenging times for the global diamond trade, it was vital to hear the views of executive committee colleagues from across the world ahead of the Presidents Meeting in Dubai in September. We will receive updates at that meeting on the issues raised here and also on a number of other important topics.
The executive committee discussed how the trading of synthetic diamonds should be organised in the most appropriate way at WFDB-affiliated exchanges. Currently, the diamond exchanges in India, Israel and Hong Kong prohibit trading in synthetic diamonds on the floor of their diamond exchanges.
Yoram Dvash, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange and host of the meeting of the executive committee, commented: “In the coming months, diamond exchanges will develop specific communication programmes on social media to promote our diamond business. Consumers should be aware of what they are buying as well as what the intrinsic value is of the product they are embracing. Through targeted campaigns on social media, it is our intention to clarify the unique selling proposition of natural diamonds to the broadest possible audience.”
Members of the WFDB executive committee during the meeting at the Israel Diamond Exchange.