|The De Beers Group of Companies has published its report on diamond jewelry demand in 2015, and the forecasted outlook for 2016.
Global consumer demand for diamond jewelry, measured at constant currency, grew by two percent, says the report. However, the strength of the U.S. dollar during the year negatively impacted growth at actual exchange rates, with global consumer demand for diamond jewelry in U.S. dollar terms reaching US$79 billion in 2015 - a two percent decline on the record US$81 billion seen in 2014.
The data shows demand for diamond jewelry in the United States remained highest, hitting a record level of US$39 billion in 2015 - and increasing the country's share of the global polished diamond demand from 42 percent to 45 percent in 2015.
China's polished diamond demand showed a small improvement in 2015, with an overall growth rate of 3 percent, and measured as share in global demand, grew 1 percent, from 16 percent in 2014 to 17 percent in 2015.
De Beers reports that demand from consumers in the Japanese, Indian and Gulf consumer markets saw some declines in local currency terms in 2015, with the strength of the U.S. dollar further impacting growth rates when translated into U.S. dollar terms.
De Beers expects diamond jewelry demand in 2016 to be driven by steady but subdued global economic growth, with weakening growth in emerging markets and a fragile recovery in the advanced economies.
De Beers Chief Executive Philippe Mellier says, "Despite 2015 being a challenging year for rough diamond demand, consumer diamond jewellery demand was robust. Encouragingly, the US - the largest and most mature market - continues to grow the strongest, while China continues to grow from an increasingly larger base.
"There remains a positive medium to long-term outlook for diamond jewellery demand, driven by the US and the growth of the middle classes in emerging markets."Focussing on the 2016 outlook for the midstream, however, De Beers cautions again that, while there has been some improvement in rough diamond demand in the beginning of 2016, they "continue to take a cautious approach in light of the fragile macroeconomic environment."