May 22, 2019 - Economy

The diamond market gets cloudy

In this image, a small diamond is held between two long tweezers on top of a microscope.

Photo: David Talukdar/Getty Images

Aside from oil and lean hogs, 2019 has been a tough year for commodities. Coffee prices have fallen 9%, natural gas is 11% lower and soybean prices have fallen 7% to name just a few. The diamond industry is also in a slump, Bloomberg reports.

What's new: De Beers revealed Tuesday its diamond sales fell to a 2-year low, underlining a slump in the industry worldwide. Sales fell 25% from a year ago and were down 29% from an offering last month.

What's happening: "Diamond miners are struggling across the board, especially those producing cheaper and smaller gems where there is too much supply," writes Bloomberg's Thomas Biesheuvel.

  • Diamond miners also have been hit by a shortage of financing for buyers and stagnant end demand.
  • The Indian rupee's weakness against the dollar has made gems more expensive for Indian manufacturers, who cut or polish about 90% of the world’s stones.

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