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Diamond head Leviev sees rising demand for rough diamonds

RAMAT GAN, ISRAEL, 1 April, 2009 [AFNS] - Israeli diamond tycoon Lev Leviev believes demand for rough diamonds is increasing following several months in which sales have slumped.

Israeli financial daily TheMarker reported that Leviev said demand for rough diamonds in March rose 50 percent from February.

Leviev told reporters that the slump in the market was due to a reduction in lending by banks to diamond firms. In turn, falling demand led producers such as De Beers and Alrosa to slash output.

Many observers are waiting for the outcome of the Diamond Trading Company March-April sight this week for an indication of the mood in the market.

The last three sights were estimated to have totalled about $100 million each, just 20 percent of the amounts sold a year earlier.
 

(A service of the Antwerp Facets News Service.)