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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Nov 14, 2019 11:03 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished market stable and showing rise in demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct. Reduced manufacturing has led to shortages of top-quality RapSpec A3+ goods. Rough trading steady after price cuts at $390M Nov. De Beers sight. Alrosa 3Q profit -44% to $212M with concern over built-up 21.7M ct. inventory. Retail outlook optimistic as Dow hits record (+19% YTD to 27,783). Ongoing unrest dampens Hong Kong luxury. Richemont 1H jewelry sales +8% to $4.1B. Christie’s Geneva sells $55M (93% by lot) including rectangle, 7.03 ct., fancy deep purple blue, VVS2 for $11.6M ($1.7M/ct.). Sotheby’s garners $54M (80% by lot) including pear, 6.03 ct., fancy intense purple pink, VVS2 for $3.4M ($556K/ct.).

Fancies: Some improvement in G-H, VS-SI fancy shapes above 1 ct. Pears and Ovals are the strongest shapes. High-end collection goods weak as dealers and consumers shift to lower price points. Ovals for fashion jewelry moving well in 1.50 and 2.99 ct., G-H, VS and H-K, SI2. Large Emeralds steady. Marquises and Princesses weak despite reduced manufacturing. US sustaining market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Chinese consumers seeking fancy shapes since prices are better than rounds. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell even at very deep discounts.

United States: Mixed sentiment as activity shows improvement but sales drop below 2018 numbers. Rising expectations for holiday season that begins on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 29). Bridal market steady; campaigns planned to broaden the category. Melee selling, but large-scale buyers remain cautious. Jewelers taking more goods on memo to limit their inventory exposure.

Belgium: Dealers in positive mood due to better trading than last month. Very little inventory buying. Focus is on filling last-minute Christmas orders. 0.40 to 0.70 ct., D-F, IF-VVS, RapSpec A3+ goods selling well. Lack of top-quality 3X, no-fluorescence goods. Rough trading active, with more stones available on secondary market following De Beers and Alrosa price cuts.

Israel: National security alerts disrupt bourse activity after strong trading period. Dealers focused on US market and specific orders from China. Steady demand for 1 ct., D-G, IF-VVS. Improvement in 0.20 to 0.25 ct., D-G, VVS stones. Dealers maintaining polished discounts and hoping for better margins after rough price cuts. Large delegation of 21 companies traveling to Nov. 28 Hong Kong International Jewelry Show despite ongoing unrest in the city.

India: Mumbai trading back to normal after Diwali break. Israeli and Korean buyers looking for SI and I1 goods. Surat cutters to resume operations on Nov. 18. Manufacturers resisting pressure to reduce polished prices after rough declines. Volatile rupee (INR 72/$1) adding to market uncertainty. Jewelers expecting sales to pick up during upcoming wedding season.

Hong Kong: Polished market showing steady demand from China and rest of Asia Pacific. Hong Kong retailers still cautious following sales dip amid ongoing protests. Concerns about prolonged disruption grow as clashes intensify. China orders stable for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-G, VS-SI diamonds. China retail robust, with Alibaba seeing record 11/11 Singles’ Day sales of $38 billion. Jewelers preparing promotions for Chinese New Year (Jan. 25).
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