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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Feb 18, 2021 11:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished dealers optimistic. Positive momentum amid busy Valentine’s Day in US and initial reports of robust Chinese New Year season. Asian market shut for lunar festival. E-commerce driving growth; online accounting for nearly 25% of total retail in China. Kering 2020 jewelry sales weak in Europe, strong in Asia. Brands gaining market share in India, with Titan Company FY3Q sales +17% to $1.1B, profit +12% to $73M. Rough trading stable as cutters maintain production levels. Petra Diamonds FY1H revenue -8% to $178M, profit of $2.7M vs. loss of $10.2M a year earlier. India Jan. polished exports +9% to $1.8B, rough imports +65% to $1.3B.

Fancies: Stable demand for select fancy shapes as consumers seek alternative designs at more affordable prices than rounds. Dealers hoping for increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds and Radiants above 2 ct. Cushion, Princess and Marquise improving. Buyers showing preference for elongated shapes with the right proportions. Excellent cuts in demand and selling at premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. High availability of fancies below 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Positive momentum continues with steady wholesale and retail activity. Jewelry proving highly desirable during the pandemic. Strong engagement ring sales during Valentine’s Day. Wedding bands slightly down. Ovals and pears performing well, as are radiants and emeralds with the right proportions.

Belgium: Sentiment improving despite ongoing lockdown. Favorable supply-demand balance fueling confidence. Dossiers selling nicely. US orders supporting the market. Rough commanding a premium on the secondary market ahead of next week’s De Beers sight.

Israel: Activity starting to resume at bourse as one-month lockdown eases. Trading steady and polished exports continue to rise, diamond comptroller reports. Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) lobbying to become a free-trade zone. Focus on elections for new IDE president and board.

India: Market stable. Good demand for 1 ct. and larger. Dossiers moving well. US buyers focusing on 0.30 to 0.70 ct., H-K diamonds; Hong Kong customers purchasing D-F colors in the same size range. Suppliers concentrating on American orders as China remains quiet during post-holiday period. Fancy shapes strong. Polished production at full capacity. Rough hard to source due to high prices. Lab-grown prices falling.

Hong Kong: Business slow with Chinese manufacturers and wholesalers still closed for lunar new year. Local Hong Kong demand weak due to lack of tourism. Trade optimistic about mainland pre-holiday sales results, as economy has recovered well from Covid-19 crisis. More than half of China’s 2021 retail revenue will come from online purchasing, eMarketer predicts. 
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