For small and medium diamantaires in world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat, there is little hope of recovery in the market until 2018.
Diamantaires in the world's diamond hub, who are facing severe liquidity crisis due to weak rupee and skyrocketing rough diamond prices, have received a setback after a report by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Bain and Company predicted major price increase for rough diamonds for the next five years till 2018.
The report states that the global rate of rough diamond production will rise by 4.8 per cent every year between now and 2018, at which point it will peak at 169 million carats per annum, worth approximately $19.6 billion.
Thereafter, however, global production will fall by 1.9 per cent per year, and five years after peak it will level off at 153 million carats, which will be worth about $18.4 billion.
Since January 2013, there has been nearly 10-15 per cent hike in rough diamond prices by diamond mining companies in the world. When the rough diamond reaches the secondary market, the small and medium diamanataires have to buy the stones paying premium of 4-5 per cent.
Industry sources said there is no profitability on polished diamonds due to weak rupee against the dollar, increased rough diamond prices and the 5-6 per cent decrease in the certified polished diamond prices since January 2013. However, most of the small and medium diamantaires have stopped buying rough diamonds.
As per Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council's ( GJEPC) figures, India imports $11 billion worth of rough diamonds. Around 85 per cent of the rough diamonds imported in the country is shipped to Surat for cutting and polishing and the rest are sent in other centres like Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Navsari in Gujarat.
Surat Diamond Association president Dinesh Navadia told TOI, "It is certainly very bad news for the diamond hub. The industry can no longer sustain the increased rough diamond prices. We fear that small diamantaires may perish in the long run."