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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

May 8, 2019 10:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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Dealers preparing for Las Vegas shows hoping steady US retail market will stimulate diamond trading. Rising expectations for GemGenève fair amid positive luxury demand. Good opportunities for high-end buyers after 3 to 5 ct. prices dropped significantly (3 ct. RAPI -6.1% since Jan. 1). Rough trading cautious with high auction prices and tight manufacturing profits. Sightholders anticipate stable prices and volumes at next week’s De Beers sight. India March polished exports -8% to $1.9B, rough imports -16% to $1.4B. Hong Kong 1Q polished imports -3% to $5B, polished exports +9% to $3.9B. Signet debuts synthetic diamonds on James Allen website.

Fancies: Fancy shapes stable, driven by US and European demand. Ovals for fashion jewelry moving well. Supply shortage supporting prices for Pears, with 1.50 ct. the strongest category. Radiants improving. Marquises and Princesses weak despite reduced manufacturing. Excellent-cut Ovals, Cushions, Pears and Emeralds doing nicely, with steady orders for fine-quality goods in 6 to 10 ct. Chinese consumers seeking fancy shapes at better prices. US sustaining market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Mixed mood among dealers as some categories sell better than others. Steady orders for bread-and-butter 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds for engagement rings. Top-quality large stones weak. Retailers pushing fashion jewelry amid strong expectations for Mother’s Day season. New JCK venue creating buzz as traders prepare for Las Vegas shows.

Belgium: Dealers getting better prices and profits by buying directly from manufacturers. Large volumes of old stock available and selling at deeper discounts. Buyers insisting on no fluorescence. Good demand for excellent-cut SIs. Rough activity cautious ahead of next week’s De Beers sight and Antwerp Rough Diamond Days (May 15 to 16).

Israel: Quiet trading during short week due to Memorial Day and Independence Day. Some movement in large stones at lower prices. Dealers traveling to GemGenève to assess high-end opportunities. Suppliers keeping stock low to reduce risk amid declining prices, weak economic sentiment and threat of synthetics. Solid demand for 0.70 to 1.99 ct., G-J, VS-SI goods.

India: Sentiment weak due to reduced bank credit and fewer orders than usual. Market dynamic driven by supply rather than demand. Manufacturers reducing capacity. Steady interest in 0.70 to 1.50 ct., G-J, SIs. Stable gold jewelry market for May 7 Akshaya Tritiya festival.

Hong Kong: Wholesale sector cautious amid renewed US tariff fears. Good dealer demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS-SI diamonds. Rise in tourist arrivals boosts May 1 Labor Day activity. China 1Q retail sales beat expectations. Hong Kong 1Q polished exports to China down 15% to $688M.
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