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Weekly Market Report

DIAMOND MARKET OVERVIEW

Sentiment in the polished market was cautiously optimistic over the past week. There were concerns about rough prices running ahead of polished, squeezing margins in the cutting centres.Traders are pinning their hopes for a rise in orders at the International Hong Kong Jewellery Trade show later this month. “There are big hopes about an improvement in demand in the Far East,” said one trader. The main polishedprices index ended the week lower, opening at 117.72 on Friday, compared to Monday’s opening at 118.90.

ROUGH MARKET

Despite healthy demand being reported at recent rough diamond tenders, the mood was cautious.  All eyes are on the De Beers sight this coming week. There were reports that Alrosa raised prices by 4% in larger sizes of 2 carats plus at its February sale. Contracted buyers said the price hike eliminated premiums. “It's a tough market situation. We are expecting a smaller De Beers sight, with hopefully no price change,” said one rough trader in Antwerp.

CORPORATE AND EVENTS

London-based Gem Diamonds Ltd. is halting production at its Ghaghoo mine, which produces diamonds at the lower-end of the price scale, until profitability is more feasible, Bloomberg reported. A 32 percent decline in the price of its diamonds over the last two years emphasized “the weak state of the diamond market for this category,” the company said in a statement, according to the Bloomberg report.

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