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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was a positive 97-87-126 as the TSX Venture Exchange rose one point to 570. The last time rough diamond prices recorded an appreciable weekly rise, winter snows were still swirling across the North American plains. Indeed, the last week in which prices were not inching lower came in early April. Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond price index sat at 155.8 this week, a 30-point drop from the 185.8 value in early March -- a decline that works out to a worrisome 16.2 per cent across barely six months.
Mr. Zimnisky pegs rough prices to be lower by 51.4 points, or 24.8 per cent, than the all-time high of 207.2 at which he had pegged them in mid-February of 2022. And so, rough diamond prices currently sit roughly where they meandered through the heart of the 2010s -- a multiyear stretch of stagnation that followed a recovery surge after the Great Recession.
At this point, a flattish period of stagnation would come as a welcome relief to diamond miners, who have watched expenses soar with inflation while revenues diminished. While the ebbing tide has not lowered all boats equally -- large, high-quality diamonds are faring better than small, lower-quality goods -- no miner is experiencing a run of rough diamond prices outstripping inflation as they all had so gleefully been predicting for the past two decades.
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