The diamond industry is learning to live with and work alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, and is, as a result, starting to see some signs of recovery, says World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) acting president Yoram Dvash.
He explains that the first half the year “was almost a complete washout”, with declines of between 70% and 80% in imports and exports in some centres.
However, some signs of recovery are now becoming evident, he notes, adding that “it is clear that the responsible policy of [diamond miners] De Beers and Alrosa of limiting production and flexibility toward customers, along with the limited capacity of the Surat manufacturing centre, has had a positive effect on the diamond pipeline”.
In a newsletter published on August 6, Dvash notes that some signs “promise light at the end of the tunnel”, including steady diamond prices, though this is mainly owing to shortages in various categories, as well as the third quarter of the year seeing smaller export and import drops, with July showing around 50% declines year-on-year.
While he expects this to strengthen over time and potentially deliver a strong holiday season, he adds that manufacturers’ profit margins have improved and that “they are better than before the pandemic”.
Additionally, Dvash says diamond jewellery retail is “doing fairly well”, with China showing strong demand with sales soaring post-lockdown.
In the US, independent jewellers are reporting a steady demand for jewellery to celebrate life-cycle events.
“Our industry has proven its resilience by moving to online trading. Get Diamonds, for example, is enjoying a huge part of this traffic. Consumers are also buying more diamonds through e-commerce, with some of the largest luxury brands selling more diamond jewellery online,” he enthuses.