U.S. Diamond Prices Jump Up Amid Acute Demand and Lack of Supply
IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Non-Industrial Diamonds – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights‘. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.
U.S. diamond prices continue to rise due to the demand remains solid while product supply is limited. Jewelry sales in the U.S. keep robust, but global diamond mining and cutting remain low compared to pre-pandemic levels, primarily due to the problematic epidemiological situation in India. The return of work at Indian processing plants should help increase supply in the global diamond market and limit the rise in product prices. The recovery in American tourism activity could lead to a decline in demand for jewelry and constrain the price growth.
Key Trends and Insights
According to Fairfield County Diamonds, diamond prices continue to rise. In September 2021, they grew by an average of 0.9% from August 2021. The average price per carat for all diamonds was $11,139.53, up from $11,039.49 a month prior.
The increase in diamond prices was driven by strong demand for jewelry in the U.S. and China set against limited supply as diamond mining and cutting remain low. In the first quarter, global production of rough diamonds fell by 22% to 24 million carats due to mine suspension at the Canadian Ekati diamond mine, the closure of Australia’s Argyle mine, and the decrease in activity at other large mining companies.
American demand for jewelry remains strong this year. According to a report from Mastercard’s ‘Spending Pulse’, US jewelry sales in July 2021 were +82.6% higher than the same period in 2020 and +54.2% higher than those of July 2019.
The positive financial gains for global gem producers confirm the high demand for diamonds. Rough diamond sales from the world’s leading supplier in the jewelry industry, De Beers Group, amounted to $3.5B in 2021 and exceeded sales from 2020 ($2.8B). Sales of rough diamonds from the Russian diamond producer Alrosa, in the first half of 2021 amounted to 15.5 million carats, which is 65% higher than last year and 47% higher than Q1 of 2019.
Along with the jump in the incidence of Covid-19, India introduced quarantine restrictions, which led to a drop in factory utilization down to 50-70%, an outflow of migrant workers, and a decrease in the volume of diamond cutting and polishing operations. As the incidence rate has declined since mid-2021, there has been a return to operations and an increase in diamond exports from India. According to the Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the total gross diamond export in July 2021 was $2.26B, which is up 146% compared to the previous year.
The recovery of large supplies of cut diamonds from India should help limit the rise in prices for the product. An additional factor for prices lowering in the medium term is the gradual recovery of tourist activity, which will contribute to the shift of the population’s spending away from the jewelry sector and toward tourism and the entertainment industry.
Non-Industrial Diamond Production
In 2020, approx. 74M carats of non-industrial diamonds were produced worldwide, reducing by -10.6% against the previous year’s figure.
The countries with the highest volumes of non-industrial diamond production in 2020 were Russia (24M carats), Canada (17M carats) and Botswana (13M carats), with a combined 65% share of global production. Angola, South Africa, Congo and Namibia lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 35%.
In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of non-industrial diamond production amongst the significant producing countries was attained by Congo, while non-industrial diamond production for the other global leaders experienced a decline in the production figures.
World’s Largest Non-Industrial Diamond Importers
In value terms, non-industrial diamond imports reduced from $108.2B in 2019 to $67.9B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.
China ($5.9B) constitutes the largest market for imported non-industrial diamonds worldwide, comprising 8.8% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Thailand ($1.3B), with a 1.9% share of global imports.
In 2020, the value of Chinses imports dropped by -24.3% y-o-y.
World’s Largest Non-Industrial Diamond Exporters
In value terms, Belgium ($8.2B) remains the largest non-industrial diamond supplier worldwide, comprising 13% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by China ($1.1B), with a 1.8% share of global exports.
In 2020, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value in Belgium totaled -29.5%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: China (-34.3% per year) and Thailand (-33.6% per year).
Source: IndexBox Platform
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