Israel Diamond Week Lifts Local Trade
Delegations from China and Hong Kong were scheduled to attend the three-day event, but canceled due to travel restrictions initiated during the coronavirus outbreak. Approximately 300 overseas buyers attended, organizers reported, with Indian and US dealers and exhibitors forming a notable presence on the trading floor. Displays focused on niche segments such as large fancy shapes and fancy colors, which are strong areas for the Israeli market, participants noted. Some saw it as an opportunity to look for goods rather than waiting for the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, which has been postponed from March until May due to the coronavirus crisis. Yoram Dvash, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange, observed that there are currently shortages of certain polished goods owing to a reduction in rough buying in the second half of 2019. “This is certainly a step that will allow an adjustment in the global levels of rough and polished goods,” Dvash said at the opening of the event on Monday. “We hope that this trend will continue in the coming months and will create new opportunities for the world diamond industry.” However, exhibitors expressed concern about the impact that the slowdown in China will have on the market moving forward. In addition, the lack of profit in the diamond trade will lead to financial and regulatory disruption, Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, said in his address at the fair, which can be viewed here. He called for a 30% decline in rough prices to ensure market liquidity. A panel discussion on traceability (view here) highlighted the rise in source verification programs being offered in the diamond industry, along with the challenges and potential benefits they bring to businesses across the supply chain. Dealers expressed concern that these initiatives appear to exclude recycled goods that they trade on the secondary market. Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), appealed to fellow panelists to ensure their programs are accessible to the smaller players in the sector.