Global diamond trading slowed down in March, thanks to Nirav Modi — report

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Diamond prices remained flat in March for several reasons, one of which was the famous case against Indian jewellery tycoon Nirav Modi who is accused of spearheading a $2 billion fraud against India’s state-owned Punjab National Bank, a new report from Rapaport said.

“The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI for 1-carat diamonds slid 0.1% in March. RAPI for 0.30-carat stones went up 0.4%, while RAPI for 0.50-carat grew 1.1%. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds declined 0.4% during the month. RAPI for 1-carat stones rose 2.8% during the first quarter,” the report said..

The financial year in India that began April 1 is likely to see a liquidity squeeze, the report said, adding that some large manufacturers with sizable credit lines were facing greater scrutiny.

The U.S.-based Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing value-added services that support the development of fair, transparent, efficient, and competitive diamond and jewellery markets. It is best known for the Rapaport Price List. Established in 1978, it is the industry’s primary benchmark for diamond prices and market information.

The RAPI is the average asking price in hundred $/ct. of the 10% best-priced diamonds, for each of the top 25 quality round diamonds offered for sale on RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network.

According to the firm, the other reason behind last month’s price behaviour was the fact that manufacturers felt under pressure after De Beers raised prices an estimated 2% to 3% in the first quarter.

“Cutters are protecting their profits with steady polished prices, and buyers have adapted to the higher rates that emerged in January and February. Retailers are supporting demand by restocking after good US and Chinese holiday seasons,” the report said.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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