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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jan 27, 2022 10:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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Positive market mood tempered by geopolitical tensions, stock-market volatility and continued Omicron spread. Dealers cautious about price levels despite good demand and shortages of 3X stones. Easier to sell than to buy. Rough trading steady amid low supply. Alrosa Jan. prices +5% to +7%; 2021 price index +33%, rough sales +50% to $4B, sales volume +27% to 45.5M cts. De Beers 2021 sales volume +60% to 36.3M cts., production +29% to 32.3M cts., average price +10% to $146/ct. Mid-tier miners Grib and Mountain Province see strong Jan. gains. High-end jewelry doing well. Swatch 2021 revenue +31% to $7.9B. Industry mourns passing of celebrated diamantaire Johnny Kneller.

Fancies: Market robust. Good demand across all sizes. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing scarcities. 0.30 to 0.99 ct. improving in VS and better clarities. Fancies below 0.30 ct. showing significant gains since Diwali. Supply shortages supporting prices. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Growing interest in fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Steady demand in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Positive sentiment at Miami Beach Antique Show despite lighter traffic. Good outlook for next week’s Tucson Centurion fair (January 29 to February 2). Buyers looking for merchandise but struggling to find it amid shortages and high prices. Fancy shapes selling well as dealers seek alternatives to expensive rounds. Suppliers with inventory are in strong position.

Belgium: Dealers more uncertain after recent price increases. Steady market for and scarcity of nice, commercial-quality, 3X goods. Far East demand slower now that Chinese New Year orders are complete. Stable US interest in 1-carat diamonds. Rough trading robust during Alrosa contract sale, with shortages and high premiums.

Israel: Some caution amid ongoing spread of Covid-19’s Omicron variant. Buyers looking for goods but wary of purchasing at current price levels. Suppliers lacking inventory. US wedding market driving solid interest in 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI items. Large stones and fancy shapes also selling well.

India: Continued strong demand and supply shortages driving optimism. US orders supporting market as lunar festival break begins in greater China. Good movement in most diamond categories. Polished production below capacity as rising rough prices reduce manufacturers’ profit margins. Local jewelry business steady during wedding season.

Hong Kong: Trading slow as Omicron cases grow and clients shut for Lunar New Year. China border closure limiting dealer and retail sectors. Chinese jewelers saw stable holiday period. Wholesalers focusing on other Asian markets during quiet season for mainland. Local Hong Kong store sales weak as government tightens Covid-19 restrictions.
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