Prices to compromise diamond sales

Prices to compromise diamond sales Exploitation of Marange diamonds did not translate into expected development

Taurai Mangudhla Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S hope for good returns on its diamond sales could be dampened by dipping prices on the global market, latest statistics show. As the industry closely watched trends and price performances, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is holding on to more than 1,4 million carats of rough diamonds which were supposed to be sold in October. In October, ZCDC had 1,2 million carats.

According to global industry figures, diamond prices moved lower by an average of 0,4 percent in October 2017. According to RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI), global diamond prices for 1-carat diamonds slid 0,7 percent in September and 2 percent during the third quarter of the year. As of September 30, RAPI was down 4,5 percent since January 1, and dropped 7, 4 percent since September 2016.

While softening prices are good news for manufactures who are buying and holding on stock ahead of the festive season, this spells doom for rough producers who need to push their product into the market. Rappaport has already predicted rough trading is expected to remain quiet through October and November on account of huge stockpiles held in India. Rappaport said New York is currently trading slow with dealers holding large polished inventory and have little appetite to buy. This activity, according to Rappaport, is below expectations for this time of year as the festive season approaches. In India, the market remains rather quiet as businesses slowly return from Diwali break which lasts for three weeks. Rappaport however noted sign of stability in China and the US, the two largest markets, going forward which represents opportunity in the sector.

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