The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) held its biennial Presidents’ Meeting this June 14-16 in Tel-Aviv. Over the course of the event, the leaders of the 30 diamond bourses affiliated to the WFDB and the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association’s 16 member organizations discussed the most pressing issues affecting the global diamond industry.
In his address at the formal opening of the event, Ernie Blom, president of the WFDB, gave attendees a wide-ranging review of some of the industry’s greatest challenges. Among the issues he spoke about were falling profitability and declining bank credit, synthetic stones, overgrading, and generic diamond marketing.
“Conditions in the diamond industry are far from easy and they have been that way for quite a number of months,” he said. “These are complicated times for the diamond industry across the world.”
Philippe Mellier, the CEO of De Beers Group, also presented a notable discussion at the meeting, emphasizing sustainable returns across the diamond pipeline as a key to investment to underpin further growth. “Diamantaires need to make sustainable returns so they can invest in things such as new technology, marketing activities and business efficiency,” he said.
Meiller also discussed activities and investments that can “enhance” midstream market prospects in finding sustainable returns. “First,” he said, “there is a need to generate consumer demand growth downstream, [as] this supports the value of diamantaires’ polished diamond sales. Second, there is a need to facilitate efficiency and maintain third party confidence in the midstream—this will reduce diamantaires’ operating costs. And third, there is a need to maintain availability upstream, [limiting] the escalation in diamantaires’ input costs.” CJ