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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jun 15, 2017 11:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished market stable with selective, price-sensitive buyers at Las Vegas shows. Opportunity for US independents to gain market share, as major retailers are under pressure. Pockets of good demand, with shortage of better-quality SIs. Rough market strong during De Beers sight. Dealers hoping June Hong Kong show will lift quiet Far East trading. Chow Tai Fook FY 2017 sales -9% to $6.6B, profit +6% to $404M. Alrosa May revenue +33% to $472M. Dominion 1Q sales +18% to $211M, net loss -47% to $7.8M. Belgium May polished exports +1% to $1.1B, rough imports -18% to $1.1B. Patrick Evans steps down as Mountain Province CEO. Jason Goldberger to replace Harvey Kanter as Blue Nile CEO.

Fancies: Ovals and Cushions gaining popularity, overtaking Pears as the strongest shape in the US. Steady demand for Pears in the Far East. Shortage of fine-quality large Pears and Ovals. Emeralds improving and selling better than Princesses. Some demand for big fancy shapes, but buyers extremely picky. Improving demand for Radiant, 3.01 to 9.99 ct., D-I, SI1-SI2 elongated stones. Large price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Positive sentiment after Las Vegas shows. Jewelry wholesalers expecting good follow-up from show meetings. Diamond dealers less confident, as JCK visitor traffic was weak and buyers lacked urgency. Good demand for 0.30 to 2 ct., G-J, SI, 3X diamonds. Higher-priced VVS-clarity and D-F colors weak. Jewelers avoiding inventory purchases as they prepare holiday-season marketing strategies.

Belgium: Dealers disappointed in slow JCK show. Antwerp trading more upbeat. Good demand for 0.40 to 0.50 ct., G-J, VS-SI and for 2 ct., D-G, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. VVS weak. Buyers looking at price points and avoiding inventory buildup. Rough trading steady during De Beers sight.

Israel:
Suppliers focused on dealer trading and online sales, as relationships with new US clients remained limited at JCK show. Activity in the bourse stable, with dealers feeling minimal impact of the show. Steady demand for dossiers and 1.30 to 3.99 ct., G-J, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. 47 suppliers attending June Hong Kong show, hoping to capitalize on reported improvement in Chinese demand.

India: Disappointment after JCK show failed to stimulate positive trading momentum. Lower retail attendance meant fewer orders and uncertainty for second half of 2017. Manufacturing expected to slow as polished inventory levels increase and general demand remains sluggish. Good demand for SIs in all categories. Rough demand firm after De Beers limited supply during sight week.

Hong Kong: Polished trading slow during traditionally quiet summer period. Dealers preparing for upcoming Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair (June 22 to 25). Steady Chinese demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., D-F, VS-SI (3X, none) diamonds, mirroring improvement in jewelry retail sales. Hong Kong jewelers still cautious.
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