Polished diamond prices increased in November for the first time in six months, boosted by shortages of select categories and seasonal holiday demand.
RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds noted the largest increase at 3.3%, while 0.50-carat diamonds and 1-carat diamonds grew 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively. The only diamonds to fall during the month were 3-carat diamonds, which declined. 0.6%.
Despite this, prices of polished diamonds are still low in the year-to-date (January to December) with 0.30-carat diamonds down 17.3% and 0.50-carat diamonds down 17%. Meanwhile, 1-carat diamonds and 3-carat are down 7.1% and 14.4% respectively.
Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, said: “This is the first time in six months that there has been an increase in the benchmark 1-carat RAPI index and 17 months since the last increase in 30 pointers.
“The worst may be over for declining polished prices, however, polished shortages are reducing sales volume and trade profitability.”
The Rapaport Monthly Report noted the diamond market has “realistic expectations” about the challenging supply side situation and the limited impact that holiday sales will have on the market.
It added that market sentiment is weak despite the November uptrend, with inventory levels falling despite remaining higher than usual for this time of the year.
Rapaport called on De Beers to lower rough diamond prices by 30% to 50% in order to inject liquidity and restore profitability to the diamonds trade.