by Greg Klein | June 12, 2014
Global giant De Beers says polished diamond sales are set to rise 4.5% this year, according to an Agence France-Presse report circulated by media on June 11 and 12. In an interview CEO Philippe Mellier attributed growing demand to a U.S. economic recovery and expanding markets in China and India.
“The largest global market for diamond jewellery is the United States and everyone knows they are taking off again,” AFP quoted him.
Together China, Hong Kong and Macau make up 13% of the global market, the news agency stated. “More and more Chinese are achieving the buying power to acquire jewellery and diamonds, especially when they get married,” said Mellier.
As for India, it’s “a potentially large source of diamond demand.” Mellier called new prime minister Narendra Modi a “fervent defender of an industry which he knows well, the diamond industry, having been governor of Gujarat state, which is known for its diamond polishers.”
The forecast echoes a May 27 report by Dundee Capital Markets, which attributed the last two years of rising diamond prices to new demand in China and India, as well as an American recovery.
Dundee credited De Beers, which controls about 40% of global trade, with one of the “longest-running and most successful marketing campaigns in history, built around the slogan A Diamond is Forever,” which began in the U.S. during the 1940s. “The story was repeated in Japan in the 1950s, supplanting pearls as the romantic gift of choice, and is repeating itself again in the emerging markets of China and India. Their combined population of 2.6 billion people is expected to drive significant growth off a well-established base in the West.”
The Global Diamond Report 2013 from Bain & Company forecast a 10-year period in which rough diamond supply growth of 2% would be overtaken by demand growth of 5.1%.