Demand by US consumers increased 5% on 2014 levels as they benefited from the sustained economic recovery, higher levels of job creation and wage growth. The US remains the world’s largest market for diamond jewellery sales and increased its share of global polished diamond demand from 42% to 45% in 2015.
Chinese demand growth was also positive in 2015. Including acquisitions by Chinese abroad, the overall growth rate was 3% in RMB.
Demand from consumers in the Japanese, Indian and Gulf consumer markets saw some declines in local currency terms in 2015, with the strength of the US dollar further impacting growth rates when translated into US dollar terms.
[quote]At constant currency, global consumer demand for diamond jewellery grew by 2%. However, the strength of the US dollar during the year negatively impacted growth at actual exchange rates, with global consumer demand for diamond jewellery in US dollar terms reaching $79 billion in 2015 – a 2% decline on the record $81 billion seen in 2014.
The data also showed:
- Despite positive general macroeconomics in India, consumer demand reduced by 4% in local currency as it was impacted by a decline in overall consumer spending, driven by several factors including restricted credit.
- Japanese consumer demand was broadly flat in local currency terms, but the Yen depreciation led to a 13% decline in US dollar terms.
- Demand in the Gulf region declined 3%, with oil price weakness and lower visitor numbers affecting growth.
- Growth in the rest of the world declined 13% in US dollar terms, largely as a result of macroeconomic weakness in emerging markets and the strength of the US dollar.
The outlook for 2016 is driven by expectations of steady but subdued global economic growth, with weakening growth in emerging markets and a fragile recovery in the advanced economies. The US is again expected to be the main driver of growth in 2016.
Philippe Mellier, Chief Executive, De Beers Group, says: “Despite 2015 being a challenging year for rough diamond demand, consumer diamond jewellery demand was robust. Encouragingly, the US – the largest and most mature market – continues to grow the strongest, while China continues to grow from an increasingly larger base.
“There remains a positive medium to long-term outlook for diamond jewellery demand, driven by the US and the growth of the middle classes in emerging markets.”