The company said prices were supported by steady dealer trading even though the outlook for consumer demand remains uncertain. It added, in the first quarter, sentiment improved as polished prices rose and profitability increased on select new production.
The index for 1-carat, GIA-graded, diamonds was flat in March, while the price of 0.30-carat diamonds fell 0.6% and the price of 0.50-carat diamonds was unchanged. The price of 3-carat diamonds slipped 0.4%.
Overall, in the first quarter of the year, the price of 1-carat diamonds rose 1.4% extending the uptrend from the fourth quarter. Despite this, the index fell 4.6% below its level in the same period last year.
The monthly report revealed that some new polished production sold better than leftover stock. Prices of old stock softened as dealers looked to replace difficult-to-sell inventory.
The report said BaselWorld, which took place on 23 March to 30 March, demonstrated “cautious European luxury demand” and weak economic sentiment. It said demand was good for rare intense pink and blue diamond, but big-stone demand was limited to bargains.
A larger volume of polished is expected to enter the market in the coming months given an estimated 20% rise in manufacturing levels this year following a decline of 40% in the second half of 2015.
Meanwhile, rough demand is expected to soften in the second quarter as polished production has increased ahead of demand.
The report ended by stating: “The first quarter of 2016 was relatively positive for the diamond trade. However, trading was largely driven by dealers looking to replenish select inventory to fill existing orders.
“Jewellers and diamond dealers are carefully managing their inventory, while consumer demand is uncertain.”