There was some hope that the mid-stream would have seen some green shoots at the end of the Western hemisphere’s summer holiday. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
The large miners have taken the decision to reduce supply substantially. But the lack of profitability in the goods being sold is now hindering manufacturers from stepping up production. Instead, many companies are talking about a longer than normal shutdown in the run up to Diwali.
Polished demand remains tepid, despite relatively steady retail sales. Any possible fillip that the Hong Kong show was hoped to have provided is unlikely to materialise. Shortages in certain areas continue to be highlighted, and these are likely to be exacerbated by the lack of fresh production, but as of now there no signs of firming polished prices. Rapaport’s price decrease in clean, white stones in larger sizes does nothing to help confidence.
People have stopped trying to second guess when the market will turn, and are instead concentrating on ensuring their businesses are as healthy as they can be when things stabilize.