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Market Comments 5/31/2012

May 31, 2012 6:00 PM  
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All eyes on Vegas shows as U.S. jewelers remain optimistic for Holiday season. U.S. market has been stable in spite of global economic uncertainty that has weakened foreign demand. Graff withdraws $1B IPO as financial markets unfriend Facebook. Christie’s HK sells $80.3M (79% by lot) with Martian Pink 12.04 ct., fancy intense pink diamond selling for $17.4M ($1.4M/ct.). ALROSA 1Q production -19% to 8.1M cts. Shrenuj 4Q sales +11% to $147M, net profit +3% to $2.4M. Japan’s April polished imports -7% to $57M. Rapaport mourns the passing of Jacques Roisen, a leading diamantaire of his generation who helped create New York’s 47th street diamond market.
 
Global Markets

United States: Polished demand has been stable although some buyers have held back ‎from buying ahead of the JCK Las Vegas shows. There is good demand for commercial ‎quality stones in G-, SI and improving demand for fancy shapes, particularly cushions ‎and princess cuts. Jewelers are optimistic that the second half of the year will prove ‎stronger than the first half, with bridal continuing to drive the market.‎

Belgium:
Trading is relatively quiet but stable. Many view the U.S. as the mainstay for ‎demand as Far East buyers have grown cautious. Rough trading has weakened due to ‎tight liquidity and a cautious outlook has developed for the June Diamond Trading ‎Company (DTC) sight. ‎

Israel:
Activity in the bourse was relatively quiet with a large contingent of local ‎diamantaires having traveled to participate in the JCK Las Vegas shows. Many expect ‎the U.S. market to outperform other centers in the coming months. There is a focus on ‎triple EX certified diamonds, while demand for better-quality VVS and large stones above ‎‎3 carats is soft.‎ Rough trading has softened as manufacturing and dealer margins ‎are ‎slim.‎

India: Polished trading is restrained despite steady demand for SI clarity stones. Liquidity ‎is tight and the weak rupee continues to cause uncertainty among both polished and ‎rough dealers. Buyers are cautious due to relatively high rough prices and manufacturing ‎continues at levels below ‎capacity. Some factories remain in summer vacation mode ‎with more expected to resume their operations from next week. ‎

China:
Polished buyers have grown cautious due to persistent global economic ‎uncertainty. Wholesalers continue to hold back from making large inventory purchases. ‎They appear focused on buying to fill specific orders while waiting to better evaluate price ‎trends toward the second half of the year.‎

Hong Kong:
Economic concerns, bearish financial markets and conservative consumer ‎spending continue to impact the diamond wholesale trade. There is price uncertainty among ‎buyers, who are carefully monitoring their inventories. ‎
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