Gaborone: According to De Beers’ latest Diamond Insight March 2015, released on Thursday, global demand for diamond jewellery grew by 3% in 2014, touching “a new $81 billion high”. This was as against global sales worth US$ 79 achieved in 2013.
“The data showed that there was positive growth in consumer demand for diamond jewellery in local currency terms in 2014 across all the top five diamond markets, which between them account for about 75 per cent of global demand,” commented the company in a press note.
The data showed that the US – which remains the world’s largest jewellery market – was the fastest growing too, with an increase of 7% over its last year’s sales figure. Total US sales amounted to US$ 37 billion.
China emerged a close second, in terms of growth. “China was also a significant driver of global growth, with demand increasing six per cent in 2014 to a total of RMB 62 billion,” the company said. “Whilst this was below the growth rate in 2013, it still represented a substantial increase as the consumption base has grown so rapidly in recent years.”
The Indian market scenario proved to be a little more complex: while demand for diamond jewellery grew by 3%, in local currency terms to INR 220 billion, the depreciation of the Rupee against the US Dollar “meant that the Indian market saw a one per cent decrease in US Dollar terms” the company said.
However, the report noted that “Sales growth over the holiday season accelerated in India, where expectations going into 2015 are for continued strengthening of growth rates”.
On the other hand, the data indicates that there was a slower pace of growth across the luxury goods category in the fourth quarter both in the US and China.
“In the US there was a trend towards less Christmas gift shopping immediately before Christmas, driven by early retail promotional activity,” the report commented. “Meanwhile, growth in China was impacted by a softer macroeconomic environment and the protests in Hong Kong.”
De Beers’ noted that the outlook for diamond jewellery sales growth in 2015 is positive across all main markets as retailers anticipate another year of growing consumer demand. “Optimism among jewellery retailers is highest in the US and India, while growth in China is expected to pick up after the Chinese New Year,” the report said.
Philippe Mellier, Chief Executive, De Beers Group, commented: “2014 was another strong year for diamond jewellery demand across the world, as we saw continued growth across both mature and quickly developing markets. Retailers are also positive about the prospects for 2015 and, while there are some potential headwinds, the stage is set for another good showing across the major consumer markets.
“As the number of middle class households in the major consumer markets is set to grow by hundreds of millions in the years ahead, the medium to long term prospects for the diamond industry are also exceptionally strong if the right investments continue to be made across the value chain.