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China's diamond demand sparkles (2)

(China Daily)

14:47, November 09, 2011

"The exploration technologies of Chinese companies are mature, but it is not a simple decision to make to invest in African diamond projects because of both the political and financial risks," said Cui Dewen, vice-chairman of the China Mining Association.

The Shanghai Diamond Exchange said that its transactions of the precious stones in the first nine months reached $3 billion, up 58.4 percent year-on-year, with the price up 30 percent.

The transaction volume in the first nine months reached 12,038.71 carats, according to the exchange.

China's diamond consumption is set to grow on demand from new couples, said Xu Xiaoxue, senior manager in the investment department of the online diamond and jewelry retailer

He said China is the second-largest buyer of diamonds in the world after the United States.

"The Chinese diamond market is still developing. Besides first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, second-tier cities are now gaining more consumption power for diamonds," he said.

Xu noted that the diamond exploration business is monopolized by a few global players, with Chinese companies mostly involved in downstream operations instead of exploration.

"It requires huge money to be active in the exploration sector," he said.

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