With the exception of the US market which remains difficult, especially for lower-end goods, expected shortages in a growing range of articles in the better-end area are expected to support higher prices for polished. Tighter rough supplies and the weakness of the US dollar, which has boosted jewellery sales in the Far East, are cited by traders as key drivers for further increases. The Hong Kong region is and will be a significant outlet for all sizes, all colours clarities VS1 and better. India and China are already making an impact on demand for better quality goods, traders say. Meanwhile, the PolishedPrices index ended the year firmer – defying a trend of the previous five years showing prices declined by an average of over 1% during the December month. Throughout 2007 prices were on average 1.3% above the level recorded in 2006. The performance of the benchmark ranges (1 carat, 0.5 carats, 0.3 carats) showed a clear split. All one carat and Fine and Commercial half carat diamonds reported gains in prices, while Mixed quality 0.5 carat stones and all 0.3 carat reported losses during 2007. Thus while diamantaires with an emphasis on the US market might be looking at a difficult year, prices for polished to the Far East are set to continue their upward trend.

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