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Weekly Market Report

DIAMOND MARKET OVERVIEW

The diamond market is entering a quiet period, with the start of the summer holidays in the US, followed by Europe. In India, there were reports of traders selling down inventory at discounted prices, following a build up in cutting centre stocks during the first half. All eyes are on the Hong Kong jewellery trade fair (September 12-15), which is an important indicator for diamond jewellery demand in Asia in the second half.  The outlook for the main US market is mixed following tumbling sales among jewellery retailers in the first half. The Federal Reserve and other macro economic indicators suggest consumers will continue to increase spending.  On the other hand, a University of Michigan preliminary survey released Friday showed US consumer sentiment fell this month hitting its lowest level since October. In the broader market, the main polishedprices index ended the week higher, opening at 119.10 on Friday, from Monday’s opening at 118.90

ROUGH MARKET

Russia’s state owned Alrosa announced higher sales for the first six months of 2017 ended June, saying it cut down finished stock due to positive rough diamond market trends. “We consider the existing rough diamond market environment to be stable, though we saw a seasonal slowdown by the end of June,” Alrosa said, adding the rough diamond market "is back to being balanced". Diamond traders have been reporting declining profitability since June. Manufacturers have been hardest hit, as a result of a yawning gap between rough and polished prices and coupled with overall sluggish polished demand. 

CORPORATE AND EVENTS

Africa-focused Gem Diamonds unveiled a 126-carat rock unearthed at its flagship Letseng mine in Lesotho, the latest in a string of major discoveries at the operation this year, mining.com reported. The finding of the high quality D colour Type IIa diamond comes barely a month after the company discovered two massive diamonds at the same mine —  a 151.52-carat Type I yellow rock and a high quality 104.73-carat, D-colour Type IIa stone, the mining.com report said.

Anglo American Plc plans to redevelop the historical premises of its De Beers diamond unit after choosing the building as its preferred option for a new London headquarters, according to people with knowledge of the plan, Bloomberg reported. The company intends to modernize the Charterhouse Street property and then transfer staff there from its current premises near Buckingham Palace, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private, the Bloomberg report said.

Russia’s Alrosa, the world's top diamond producer by output, said Monday it sold $2.5 billion worth of rough and polished precious rocks from January to June this year, mining.com reported. From that total, rough diamonds sales totalled $2.442 billion, while polished ones fetched $54.9 million, the company said, according to the mining.com report. Alrosa Vice President Yury Okoemov said the company consider the seasonal slowdown of June officially over, adding the rough diamond market is back to being balanced, the mining.com report said.

As Tiffany & Co.’s new chief executive officer settles into the job, he faces a crisis that runs deeper than sluggish retail traffic: Americans are losing their passion for jewelry, Bloomberg reported. From indifferent millennials to declining marriage rates and synthetic imitations, few product categories are contending with as many headwinds as jewelry, the Bloomberg report said. Companies are scrambling to halt slumping sales and shutter unprofitable stores as discretionary spending falls and shareholder unrest bubbles over, said the Bloomberg report.

Botswana's state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) sales rose 9 percent to $309 million in the first half of the year as demand improved, its deputy managing director said, Reuters reported. Marcus ter Haar told Reuters the company had sold 1.8 million carats in five auctions held since January, the Reuters report said.

Canada’s Dominion Diamond Corp. is hoping Montana billionaire Dennis Washington will cough up a little more cash to buy the world’s third-largest producer of rough diamonds by value, Bloomberg reported. However, the company - which has put itself on the block twice in the past two years - says there’s no guarantee a deal will take place, the Bloomberg report said.

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