JNA sits down with Ezra Boaron, chairman of the International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI) 2019, to talk about next year's edition of IDWI as well as prospects in the diamond trade in 2019.
We understand the IDWI 2019 will have new and exciting features. Could you tell us more about it?
Ezra Boaron: The next IDWI will be held on January 28 to 30, 2019. As in the past, close to 200 Israeli diamond companies will be offering a huge variety of diamonds of every size, colour and shape. It will be held on the floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange, the largest diamond trading hall in the world. We are once again offering free hotel accommodations for three nights to eligible buyers. IDWI’s format – a boutique show, with minimal costs, specially geared to diamond buyers – has been a great success and has attracted hundreds of buyers from over 30 countries.
What’s new this time? An exciting new feature this year are TED-like talks that we will be holding right on the trading floor. These are short talks by world-class experts who will share their knowledge and experience in areas of interest to the diamond industry. In addition, we will be adding a section of high-end jewellery, offered by members of the Israel Diamond Exchange.
Do you expect robust buying activity at next year’s show? What are the growth drivers?
Boaron: The year 2019 will be starting off very well after an excellent holiday season in the US and Europe so we are very confident that the next IDWI will feature robust buying. An important growth driver for IDWI is a shortage in certain goods in the market, and the need to replenish stock after a strong holiday season. IDWI will feature a huge variety, including very large stones, fancy colour diamonds and precious gems.
Based on the results of past IDWIs, what kind of goods are making inroads in the market now?
Boaron: During the last IDWI, demand was spread among different diamond categories. The most sought-after stones were 1 carat to 3 carats. Eye-clean diamonds also moved fast. We also saw great interest in special and very expensive stones, with record-breaking demand at auctions of large diamonds.
Could you share with us your views on the current state of the global diamond trade?
Boaron: The American market is doing very well and is showing significant growth. Since this is Israel’s largest market, it has a positive effect on our diamond industry. The Asian market is showing some growth. We are seeing positive demand for certain goods, although interest is very sensitive to price. We are however seeing a change for the worse in India, where the banks are cutting credit to diamond companies. We hope that this will not affect the diamond industry as a whole and that 2019 will be a better year than 2018.