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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Sep 24, 2020 11:31 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished prices firm amid shortages and improving holiday orders. Trading restrained due to continued rise in Covid-19 cases. Jewelers preparing 4Q marketing with emphasis on e-commerce strategies to drive growth. Retailers pushing dealers for memo. More manufacturers insisting on cash deals. Steady rough buying during sight week as Surat cutters try to increase production and fill polished supply gaps. De Beers reduces prices by 5% to 10% for rough below 1 ct. Dominion gains $46M at first sale since March. US July polished imports -50% to $806M, exports -25% to $868M. Rapaport offices will be closed on Monday, September 28, due to Yom Kippur.

Fancies: Reduced inventory supporting prices for select fancy shapes. Ovals and Pears strong in 1.50 to 2 ct., G-K, VS-SI categories and 3 to 5 ct. SIs. Princesses improving. Excellent cuts and nice shapes in demand and selling at premiums. Rising orders in China helping the market. Dealers hoping for improved sales of fancy-shape engagement rings as consumers seek alternative designs at lower cost. High availability of fancies below 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Steady demand for select categories of polished. Bridal segment robust and seeing solid interest in 1 to 2 ct., G-I, VS-SI diamonds. Fancy shapes also improving. Many retailers taking items on memo, and some beginning to build inventory for the holiday season. Suppliers with the right goods and strong relationships doing well.

Belgium: Focus on local dealer demand and filling US orders. European buyers restrained. Prices firm and shortages apparent in popular categories such as 0.30 to 0.90 ct., G, VS2. Scarcity of both goods and suppliers influencing large-stone market. More polished expected to become available next month as manufacturers gradually raise production. Busy rough trading following De Beers price cuts.

Israel: Bourse activity slow due to country-wide lockdown over Jewish holiday period. Dealers concentrating on US market but restrained by supply shortages. Some orders for lower-quality items due to lack of better makes. Rising interest in fine-cut fancy shapes.

India: Challenging market as Covid-19 cases continue to increase. Polished demand stable after initial growth spurt from economy reopening. Large manufacturers raising production to fill US holiday orders before Diwali break, but operations limited due to worker restrictions. Dossiers and 1 ct.-plus certs doing well. Some improvement in jewelry sales amid stable gold price.

Hong Kong: Gradual improvement as business restrictions ease. Increasing market for large stones in fancy colors and fancy shapes. Dealers careful to obey tax and customs rules after Chinese government crackdown on diamond smuggling led to arrest of 121 people. Expectations for good retail sales in mainland China during October 1 Golden Week. Hong Kong jewelers suffering from lack of tourists.
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