Global consumer diamond demand (jewelry) grew 2% to an all-time record of $82 billion in 2017 amid a strong US market and a recovery in greater China, De Beers reported Thursday.
US diamond demand rose 4% to $43 billion for the year as the key market enjoyed a strong economy and robust consumer confidence, the miner said. The nation was the leading driver of global growth for the fourth consecutive year, and represented more than half of total demand.
The phenomenon of consumers buying pieces for themselves expanded to 33% of all US diamond-jewelry purchases, fueling the overall increase, it added.
“People around the world are spending more on diamond jewelry than ever before, and it’s encouraging to see consumers in the US, the world’s largest and most mature market, leading the way,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver.
Diamond demand in mainland China increased 3% in local currency, and grew 1% in dollar terms to $10 billion, De Beers said. That came from an improvement in economic conditions in the second half of 2017, as well as a 20-year high in consumer confidence, the company added. The Hong Kong diamond market also recovered amid stronger local demand and a revival in spending among tourists from the mainland.
Diamond demand in India, Japan and the Gulf declined by a low-single-digit percentage in dollar terms due to economic factors, as well as the impact of regulation and exchange-rate fluctuation, the company continued. Demand increased in other markets around the world.
“The outlook for 2018 demand growth remains positive in most of the main diamond-consuming countries, based on solid world economic prospects, positive consumer sentiment and continued investment from the diamond industry in category marketing,” De Beers said.
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no new business development without effort, and effort means work. The only way for individual diamond businesses to profit from the current market conditions is to always be there where the markets move to”