The International Diamond Manufacturer’s Association (IDMA) publishes a fascinating newsletter. Ronnie Vander Linden is their President and he often offers valuable insight. After reading their most recent edition, I thought to share it with you.

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If we are to preview our industry’s future, based on the eighth annual report on the global diamond industry – see the first item below – that was prepared and published by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Bain & Company, we can be reasonably optimistic.
Here are a few of my ‘take aways’ from this report: .In 2018, the market continued to be volatile and the year’s success will be determined by the industry’s sales performance during this holiday season;

  • The supply of rough diamonds will remain rather stable in the coming decade but will be chiefly affected by the industry’s financial challenges, the total make-up of the global rough production and the continuing uncertainty over the market off take of diamonds i.e. consumer interest in natural diamonds;
  • In our own midstream segment, the diversification of financing sources and the ready availability of funds will remain a major issue of concern. While the AWDC/Bain report noted that transparent and financially healthy companies would not be affected much in their ability to secure funding, I do think that this is one of our most significant obstacles to growth;
  • The trade war between the US and China, if not resolved, may have a negative effect on the growth prospects for global demand in the short to medium term;
  • The report lists three issues that will concern the entire pipeline in the year to come:
  •  – the increasing influence of digital technologies.
  •  – the growing presence of lab-grown diamonds.
  • – the shifting preferences of younger generations of consumers;
  • Ultimately, marketing and consumer perception will determine the effect of lab-grown diamonds on the natural diamond market;
  • Three scenarios exist: Consumers could perceive lab-grown and natural diamonds as interchangeable, as two different products, or somewhere in between;
  • Marketing could uphold the value of natural diamonds, especially if the prices of lab-grown diamonds continue to drop. It’s probable that consumers will view lab-grown diamonds as fashion jewelry but not luxury goods, limiting the effect on natural diamond demand.

 I recommend you read the report carefully. Print it out and tuck it away to read it over the year-end holidays. The AWDC is to be commended for engaging with Bain to compile these valuable and insightful reports and for making them available to the industry at large.
Meanwhile, keep safe and stay tuned!
Happy holidays!
Ronnie VanderLinden,President