|A three percent rise in global diamond jewelry demand in 2014 is reported in The De Beers Group of Companies' Diamond Insight Report 2015, which was released today. The company says this represents the fifth year of consecutive growth since the global recession.
Consumer demand in 2014 grew in each of the top five diamond consuming markets - the US, China, Japan, India and the Gulf - which account for 75 percent of global demand, says the Report, while the strength of the U.S. dollar suppressed further global growth, which at constant exchange rates amounted to almost five percent.
Despite the strong performance in 2014, the Report notes that the continued strength of the U.S. dollar and lower demand growth in China is likely to mean that global growth (in U.S. dollar terms) in 2015 will remain stable on 2014 levels.
While the value of rough diamond production increased in 2014 to US$19 billion, production volume actually decreased three percent to 142 million carats. According to the Report, rough diamond demand is likely to be lower in 2015 as higher levels of stock in the midstream and downstream work through the system.
The Indian market's growing economy and emerging middle class is seen by De Beers as offering an opportunity for further growth, citing the country's widening consumer base, economic development, and the increasing importance of brands in that market.
The Report says: "75 million new Indian households are expected to see income rise above US$5,000-6,000 in the decade, contributing to growing diamond demand. Meanwhile, the number of Elite households is expected to triple over the next decade to 12 million, while the Super Elites are expected to quadruple in size and reach over three million households by 2024, presenting the industry with a further growth opportunity."
Philippe Mellier, CEO, De Beers Group, said: "2014 saw strong levels of consumer demand across all key markets. Rough diamond demand was also strong in 2014, although we have seen more challenges in 2015. Indigestion in the midstream and downstream has impacted rough diamond demand this year, despite consumer demand for diamond jewellery being stable on the levels seen last year."However, the challenges faced by the sector in 2015 are expected to be short-term and the industry has excellent prospects. The long-term trend for demand has been positive, with consistent growth in demand for diamond jewellery since the 2008/9 financial crisis. There are also further exciting growth opportunities in the main consumer markets and India is a great example of this. Already one of the world's largest markets for diamond jewellery, the growth of the middle class in India over the next decade is set to make a major contribution to growing diamond demand."