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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was a so-so 90-93-127 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell five points to 575. Most investors continue to steer clear of diamonds despite prices reaching record highs earlier this year. Now, with the market in retreat, explorers and developers are struggling to raise cash to advance their projects.
Rough diamond prices fell just over 0.1 per cent this week, according to Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond price index. The chart shows prices are 11.5 per cent below the all-time high reached in mid-February. The relentless decline since then has flattened considerably, with prices over the past two months now showing just a 0.2-per-cent decline.
Indeed, rough prices are still about 24 per cent higher than they were in the fall of 2017, and about 21 per cent higher than they were 10 years ago. With polished prices, the decline is steeper, with a 16-per-cent drop since prices peaked in early March. Like rough, polished prices are higher than five years ago, but by just 11 per cent.
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