Market Report:- Diamond Sector Re-embarks on Forward March

The diamond trade and industry in the country, have creditably come out of the recent unprecedented recession.
Market Report:- 
Diamond Sector Re-embarks on Forward March

• Diamond Industry Turns the Corner
• Zimbabwe Rough Boosts Polished Production
• Diversification in Overseas Business
• Pre-Xmas Buying Commences
• Gold Jewellery Exports Upbeat
The diamond trade and industry in the country, have creditably come out of the recent unprecedented recession. They are now hopefully looking forward to prospects ahead, as the US and European economies have started slowing down again. However there are, as of now, no fears of fresh recession. Moreover, some markets in the Far-East as also in the Middle East look promising. What happens to the US economy, however, remains crucial for this business inasmuch as the US market still accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the global sales of diamond jewellery.

Fresh Stimulus for US Economy :
In order to give a fresh boost to its economy, the US Administration has announced a fresh stimulus package of about US$ 50 million on 7 September 2010, particularly for the infrastructure sector. This is expected to generate more jobs immediately and make the US economy hum over the long haul. It is assumed that the creation of more jobs, will result in more consumer spending which is so badly needed to revive the economy.

Retail Sales Better :
Retail sales in the USA in August 2010 rose 0.4 per cent (compared with 0.3 per cent in July 2010). This shows that US consumers are hopeful and prepared to spend, despite the present high level of unemployment and decline in home-values in the country.

Pushing Up Indian Production :
At home, the Indian diamond industry is striving hard to push up production to meet the expected overseas demand for the Christmas season. Its efforts to step up production are however, circumscribed by the shortage of workers. Factory owners continue making special offers to attract more workers, but the response to such inducements has remained lukewarm so far. This is evident from the fact that the diamond processing industry seems to be operating just around 65 per cent of its capacity.

Prices Up :
Trade circles recall that when recession was quite severe, prices of rough fell sharply, bringing down polished diamonds as well. There has been significant recovery in their values. In some cases, they have been gone beyond earlier levels. In the current year, prices of rough stones are said to have improved on the whole by about 20 per cent, while polished diamonds are said to have gained about 10-15 per cent on their values.

Market Diversification :
Even when the markets in the US, Europe and Japan remained sluggish, the Indian diamond trade and industry, successfully gave more attention to other markets like those in the Far East and the Middle East. This has also been helped by the domestic market which is estimated to be growing at an annual rate of about 10 per cent.

August Sight :
The August 2010 sight, according to trade sources, has been of the order of US$ 535 million, while there was no direct increase in prices, some Sightholders contend that there were some changes in the composition of boxes which led to some increase in prices, particularly of certain lower categories.

Arrival of Zimbabwe Rough :
A significant quantity of rough diamonds obtained by Diamond India in August 2010 at the official tender held in Zimbabwe has already arrived and has been well received. Some of its members, who obtained allocations from these imports, are of the view that the quality of these roughs was quite satisfactory and their prices were reasonable. They are also of the view that if such rough stones become available in adequate quantities, on a regular basis, they may greatly help the industry in overcoming the present shortage of roughs and premiums prevailing on their prices in the open market.

Pre-Christmas Buying Starts :
Overseas buyers have started coming for pre-Christmas purchases. The US economy is slowing down, but the diamond trade and industry, by and large, hope that the ensuing holiday-season’s sales will at least be as good as in the earlier Christmas season.

Diamond Shipments Up :
Meanwhile, according to preliminary statistics shipments of diamonds in August 2010 have amounted to US$ 2,301.77 million (Rs. 10,719.32 crore), compared with US$ 1,392.94 million (Rs. 6,733.70 crore) in the same month of the earlier year.

For the first five months (April-August) of 2010-11 despatches of polished diamonds have totalled US$ 10,365.26 million (Rs. 47,783.19 crore) against US$ 6,112.17 million (Rs. 29,675.45 crore) in the same period a year ago.

Gold Jewellery Also Upbeat :
Exports of gold jewellery in the first five months of 2010-11 have also been better around US$ 3,624.35 million (Rs. 16,644 crore), compared with US$ 2,792.82 million (Rs. 13,604.10 crore) in the same period of the earlier years. The trend is considering quite encouraging.

Buoyant Bullion :
Bullion has been scaling new highs these days, as the weaker dollar and concerns about the slowing US economy are boosting demand for bullion as a protection of wealth. Moreover, reports that the holdings of gold-backed exchange traded funds are also reaching high levels are adding fuel to fire.
On 20 September 2010 gold was pushed up abroad as high as US$ 1,280.65 per ounce, lifting up silver in the process US$ 20.80 per ounce.

Platinum also scaled a new high of US$ 1,628.50 per ounce, with palladium too reaching US$ 542 per ounce.

In the local market standard gold was placed on the same day at Rs. 19,090 per 10 grammes, while silver was traded around Rs. 33,020 per kg. Apart from bullish trends abroad, the increasing flow of foreign funds is also helping the surge in prices of bullion as also of other assets.

Main Trends :

• Fresh Stimulus for US Economy
• Retail Sales Better
• Pushing Up Indian Production
• Prices Up
• Market Diversification
• August Sight
• Arrival of Zimbabwe Rough
• Pre-Christmas Buying Starts
• Diamond Shipments Up
• Gold Jewellery Also Upbeat
• Buoyant Bullion

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