Fourth Israel Diamond Week in New York Sees Brisk Activity

The fourth edition of the Israel Diamond Week in New York again proved a success.

During the four-day event, about 100 Israeli bourse members joined an equal number of American colleagues on the trading floor of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York (DDC), with more than 200 visiting buyers and many last-moment visitors who came looking for goods.

DDC President Reuven Kaufman said that when two bourses get together, "things happen! As we all know, the global market is not performing very well and it definitely could use some improvement. However, here in the U.S. market and economy, there are many positive signs, indicating that we can look forward to a good holiday season as American retailers seem to be primed to stock up on inventory."

Kaufman said that with his DDC members and the Israeli companies exhibiting on the floor, there had been a lot of selling and buying during the week. He marveled at how during the four-day event the DDC trading floor turned into a hive of activity, attracting heavy foot traffic from buyers, as well "from the street," meaning the many hundreds of diamond, gem and jewelry offices housed in Manhattan's diamond district.

IDE President Shmuel Schnitzer said while 100 Israeli companies were participated in the Israel Diamond Week in New York, "the waiting list of companies who wished to join the unique interbourse event was almost as large. The American market is the mainstay for many Israeli diamond firms. We believe in the American market, have great relationships with our American counterparts and are eager to create new relationships and strengthen existing ones. My colleague Reuven Kaufman has said it often before: 'There is nothing better than meeting your counterpart, look him or her in the eye, work with the stones in question and conclude a business deal successfully.'"

Schnitzer thanked Kaufman, his team and the DDC members for their generous hospitality.

Israeli traders noted that not only that demand for large stones was strong, but that also the typical 'American' commercial goods used by the retail jewelers were moving surprisingly well.

Many traders showed 'as much flexibility as possible' in their pricing. "Across the board, traders are streamlining their inventories as they see the need to develop niche businesses in which they can compete successfully. To do so, they have to move inventory. As a result, sales were made and businesses concluded, at levels beyond expectations. But there are always buyers who want goods on memo and who expect unreasonable discounts," an Israeli source said.

"Of course, we know very well what our limits are and we're certainly not financing buyers' purchases. And in the long run, this is a business that calls for a long-term view. It is a wonderful business and we have an exciting and wonderful product. Soon the market will look up again, and then you want to be there, too," another participating IDE member said.