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COVID-19: THE SITUATION IN KEY TRADING HUBS | 17 JUNE 2020

The coronavirus has affected every stage of the diamond supply chain, from mining to retail. However, as infection rates fall in important trading centers, and governments begin to ease restrictions, opportunities arise for companies throughout the industry to start selling again. This is a summary of the current situation in the major diamond hubs.

New York:

Infection rate: The city is currently recording around 300 to 500 additional coronavirus cases per day, according to The New York Times — down from thousands in late March and April.

Lockdown status: New York City entered phase one of its reopening on June 8, the last of the state’s regions to do so. That means a range of wholesale and manufacturing businesses may restart operations, and jewellers and other retailers can resume deliveries, as well as curbside and in-store pickup. Residents must still wear masks or face coverings in public and keep six feet (around two meters) from each other.

Diamond industry: The Diamond Dealers Club reopened on June 9, with fewer tables than usual and a requirement for members to wear masks. Retail and dealer demand remains low.

Antwerp:

Infection rate: Belgium’s outbreak appears to have stabilized, with around 100 new cases per day, according to Worldometer. The country’s peak was in mid-April.

Lockdown status: The nation entered phase three of its reopening on June 8, allowing many types of social interaction that were previously banned. The business-to-business sector has been operational since May 4, though the government has been recommending remote-working where possible.

Diamond industry: The bourses reopened on May 4 in line with the rules; the trading floors unlocked their doors on May 11. The market is still slow, with some specific demand from the US and Hong Kong.

Israel:

Infection rate: Israel has seen a spike in new cases in recent weeks after appearing to have beaten the virus. The latest outbreak is largely centered around a few areas of Tel Aviv, local reports indicated.






Lockdown status: The government has steadily been relaxing its restrictions since April, but many schools have had to close due to outbreaks. People must still wear masks in public and keep a distance of two meters.

Diamond industry: The Israel Diamond Exchange gradually reintroduced its core services throughout May, with the trading floor reopening on May 24. The hall shut briefly last week after a member tested positive for the coronavirus, but it reopened Sunday, with health provisions in place. Dealers are hopeful of pent-up demand from the US and China, but at present, orders are limited and selective.

Dubai:

Infection rate: Covid-19 in the United Arab Emirates appears to have passed its peak, though the country is still reporting approximately 500 new cases per day, according to Worldometer.

Lockdown status: All government employees were able to return from Sunday, after workforces had been restricted to 50% since May 31. Authorities have gradually eased other lockdown measures.

Diamond industry: The Dubai Diamond Exchange, part of the government-controlled Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), opened on Sunday in compliance with the new rules.


India:

Infection rate: India’s case count is growing fast, with more than 10,000 new infections per day, according to The New York Times. Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the state capital and largest city, is home to the biggest outbreak.

Lockdown status: Despite the virus’s spread, the government is relaxing the restrictions in stages. Strict lockdown remains in place in containment zones.

Diamond industry: Authorities have allowed cutting factories to reopen in Surat with limited workforces — 50% in factories and 33% in offices — and have enabled companies in Mumbai to bring 10% of their staff members into offices in the Bharat Diamond Bourse to handle exports. However, around eight polishing units in Surat partially shut on Friday after 20 to 23 workers tested positive for Covid-19. Production remains low, with a voluntary freeze on rough imports in place for the month of June. Exports — mainly to Hong Kong — are limited.

Hong Kong:

Infection rate: Hong Kong has had few Covid-19 cases relative to other important diamond centers: The municipality’s authorities have reported just over 1,100 infections and four coronavirus-related deaths. Daily new cases are now in the low single figures, according to Worldometer.

Lockdown status: The government recently lifted the maximum gathering size to 50 people from eight. Arrivals from overseas must still enter a 14-day quarantine, with limited exemptions.

Diamond industry: The city was the first main trading center to resume activities, receiving some of the first shipments of goods when Indian manufacturing restarted. Signs of a strong recovery in Chinese demand have boded well for the city, an important cargo port for onward exports to the mainland. However, the lack of tourism in Hong Kong is still hampering local luxury spending.

 - Article Courtesy Of Diamonds.net - Find It Here