Apr 03

Baselworld to Be Two Days Shorter

RAPAPORT… Organizers of the Baselworld exhibition have reduced the 2018 edition of the watch and jewelry fair by two days after fewer buyers and exhibitors attended this year’s show.

A total of 106,000 buyers took part in the event which ended Thursday, down 4% from the previous year, the show’s organizers reported. The number of exhibitors fell 13% to 1,300, according to National Jeweler.

Baselworld’s management said they were responding to exhibitor feedback by limiting the show to six days next year instead of the traditional eight. Baselworld 2018 will run from March 22 to 27.

“We have decided to reduce the duration of the show and adjust the prices accordingly,” said Sylvie Ritter, managing director of Baselworld. The industry is enduring a challenging period, with smaller companies experiencing the biggest impact of the downturn, she added.

The show came amid a dip in the global watch industry, with exports of Swiss timepieces falling 10% in 2016, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. 

Apr 03

Diamond Market Improves After Cautious 1Q

RAPAPORT… PRESS RELEASE, April 3, 2017, New York… Diamond trading improved in March, with better-than-expected Chinese demand at the Hong Kong show. Suppliers were willing to compromise on price in order to generate liquidity before new, better-quality polished production becomes available.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat polished diamonds edged up 0.1% in March and was down 1.1% during the first quarter. There was good demand for 0.30- to 0.49-carat diamonds, and the Hong Kong show was particularly positive for dealers specializing in these sizes.

© Copyright 2017, Rapaport USA Inc.

Momentum slowed toward the end of the month as buyers remained selective throughout the first quarter – typically a stronger period, when retailers replace inventory after the Christmas and Chinese New Year seasons.

The Rapaport Monthly Report – April 2017 demonstrates that jewelers have reduced their inventory requirements and are replacing higher-value inventory with lower-priced goods, reflecting consumers’ spending preferences.

The shift toward lower price points is placing additional pressure on the midstream. Chinese buyers are concentrating on SIs, rather than showing their traditional preference for better-quality VS and higher clarities. They’re competing with US buyers for similar qualities, and dealers are consequently supplying a narrower range of diamonds to the market.

Mining companies are raising production from last year’s reduced levels. Rough demand was steady during the first quarter as polished production continued to increase. The large Indian manufacturers are investing heavily in their operations, while the rest of the sector downsizes.

Manufacturing profits remained tight during the quarter as rough prices rose an estimated average 2% to 3%. Rough trading was strong during March as De Beers reduced supply during the month.

Diamond trading is expected to slow in April during the Passover and Easter spring break. While dealers remain optimistic following the Hong Kong show, they’re aware that market conditions continue to change, which will impact activity in the medium to long term.

The Rapaport Monthly Report is available at store.rapaport.com/monthly-report.

Rapaport Media Contacts: media@diamonds.net
US: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Gabriella Laster +1-718-521-4976
Mumbai: Priyanka Vaidya +91-97699-38102

About the Rapaport RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™): The RAPI is the average asking price in hundred $/ct. of the 10% best-priced diamonds, for each of the top 25 quality round diamonds (D-H, IF-VS2, GIA-graded, RapSpec-A3 and better) offered for sale on RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network. www.RapNet.com has daily listings of over 1.2 million diamonds valued at approximately $8 billion. Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net.

About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added-value services that support the development of ethical, transparent, competitive and efficient diamond and jewelry markets. Established in 1976, the Group has more than 16,300 clients in over 120 countries. Group activities include Rapaport Information Services, providing the Rapaport Price List, research, analysis and news; RapNet – the world’s largest diamond trading network; Rapaport Laboratory Services, providing GIA and Rapaport gemological services in India, Belgium and Israel; and Rapaport Trading and Auction Services, specializing in recycled diamonds and jewelry. Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net.

Apr 03

London Bourse Recruits Ethics Adviser

RAPAPORT… The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has appointed Katherine
Chappell as its special adviser for ethical issues.

Chappell (pictured), a longstanding member of the LDB, has worked in
the gemstone industry for more than 20 years and is a specialist in fair-trade
principles, the exchange said.

“For the LDB, this means we can enhance our conversations
around responsible sourcing and engage in a more relevant dialogue, at the same
time as strengthening the bourse’s understanding of specialist issues,” said
Victoria McKay, the LDB’s chief operating officer.

“There are clear opportunities for the London Diamond Bourse
in this area,” Chappell said. “I am excited about the prospect of working with
the management team and clarifying the industry’s fair-trade principles.”

Apr 03

Gold and Silver Best Performing Assets In Q1, 2017

Best Regards
24hGold

Apr 02

Banks Snubbing Belgian Diamond Trade: AWDC

RAPAPORT…

Belgian banks are discriminating against the diamond trade
by not lending to anyone linked to the industry, the Antwerp World Diamond
Centre (AWDC) has claimed.

The AWDC has proof that banks are systematically refusing
customers with any connection to the trade, for both personal and professional
banking affairs, it said last week. Lenders snub diamantaires even before they’ve had a chance to submit a formal application to become a client, the trade
body alleged.

The banks’ rationale is that the diamond trade carries a
high risk, the AWDC said. But it argued that this was an unfair perception,
given how much regulation companies must undergo and the degree to which
domestic and international organizations monitor diamond transactions.

Declining to offer banking services is not only
limiting the Antwerp trade’s prospects for growth, it’s preventing the industry
from becoming more transparent, the AWDC asserted, since a bank account is one
of the requirements for registering a diamond business.

“Ironically, the systematic refusal to open bank accounts
for those that are linked to the diamond industry is preventing companies
interested in (re)establishing their business in Antwerp from doing so,” it
said. “Without a bank account, you cannot trade nor establish a registered
diamond company.”

Antwerp’s diamond trade has increasingly struggled to get
credit. In January 2014, Amsterdam-based ABN AMRO began limiting its financing
of rough-diamond purchases to 70% of the transaction value, rather than the
whole amount. The following year, the trade suffered from the closure of the
Antwerp Diamond Bank.

The AWDC said it had met 10 times with Belgian finance trade
body Febelfin since 2014. Following those meetings, the trade body pledged to embrace the Sustainable Bank
Account Access Scheme, under which companies go through an official audit so
banks can keep their compliance spending low.

The Belgian trade’s new “Carat Tax” regime, which passed in
December and features an independent valuation of diamond companies’
inventories, will also improve transparency, the AWDC added.

“The AWDC regrets that despite all the efforts and the
attempts to engage in a constructive dialogue, the Belgian banks are still systematically
refusing banking services to people in our trade,” it said.

Apr 02

Baselworld Shortened by Two Days

RAPAPORT… The Baselworld exhibition will be two days shorter in 2018 after fewer buyers and exhibitors attended this year’s show.

A total of 106,000 buyers took part in the event which ended Thursday, down 4% from the previous year, the show’s organizers reported. The number of exhibitors fell 13% to 1,300, according to National Jeweler.

Organizers said they were responding to exhibitor feedback by limiting the show to six days next year instead of the traditional eight. Baselworld 2018 will run from March 22 to 27.

“We have decided to reduce the duration of the show and adjust the prices accordingly,” said Sylvie Ritter, managing director of Baselworld. The industry is enduring a challenging period, with smaller companies experiencing the biggest impact of the downturn, she added.

The show came amid a dip in the global watch industry, with exports of Swiss timepieces falling 10% in 2016, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. 

Apr 02

NRF Predicts Cracking Good Easter

RAPAPORT…

Easter retail sales will rise this year, as the holiday’s
relatively late date means consumers will have longer to do their shopping,
according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The date of Easter is determined by the moon, and therefore varies
from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. This year, it falls out on April
16, almost three weeks later than last year.

“Most consumers have almost an entire extra month to shop
for Easter this year, and by the time the holiday comes, the weather should be
significantly warmer than last Easter,” said NRF CEO Matthew Shay in a recent
statement.

The improving economy means consumers are in the mood to go
shopping and retailers are ready to entice them with deals, Shay added.

As such, Easter spending is expected to grow 6% to a record
$18.4 billion this year, according to a survey that Prosper Insights
Analytics carried out for the NRF.

Meanwhile, US consumer confidence improved 8% in March from
the previous month, hitting its highest level since December 2000, the
Conference Board organization said last week.

Image: Max Pixel

Apr 02

Dominion Sees More Life in Diavik Mine

RAPAPORT… 

Dominion Diamond Corporation has extended the life span of
its jointly owned Diavik mine by two years and hiked its estimate of the
project’s future production.

The deposit in Canada’s Northwest Territories will last
until 2025, compared with a projection of 2023 given in March 2015, the miner said Friday. As a result, estimated output from now till the mine’s
closure has risen 16% to 46 million carats, with the revenue forecast up 22% to
$6.77 billion (CAD 9 billion) for the eight-year period.

The new estimates are based on a technical report showing
figures from January 31, reflecting, among other things, the addition of the mine’s A-21 extension, where
production is expected to start in 2018. 

The updated plan for Diavik “extends the mine life,
increases carat production, and grows future revenues and cash flows, while
maintaining operating costs and capital expenditures at levels that are
consistent with earlier forecasts,” said Jim Gowans, Dominion’s chairman.

“The focus on cost-efficiency improvements and
development of the A-21 pipe, which underpins the mine-life extension, is
consistent with our goal of increasing net asset value per share,” he added.

Dominion owns 40% of the Diavik mine, with Rio Tinto
holding the rest and running the project operations. The projections are
on a 100% basis, meaning they reflect the mine’s entire production as shared by
the two companies.

The announcement comes as Dominion considers a sale of the company, with the miner last week establishing a four-person team to assess strategic options, including takeover bids. The company said it was prepared to enter discussions with the Washington Companies over a potential $1.1 billion acquisition, while Reuters reported that Dominion had also held merger talks with Stornoway Diamond Corporation.

Apr 01

Irish Government To Issue Free Gold Coin To Protect Citizens From Brexit’s Impact On Euro and EU

Best Regards
24hGold

Mar 31

Physical starts to nudge paper gold price, Maguire tells King World News

Best Regards
24hGold