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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jan 21, 2021 11:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Optimism fueled by upbeat US demand and rising expectations for Feb. 12 Chinese New Year. Polished scarcities supporting prices. Rough market robust as De Beers raises prices by estimated 5%, Alrosa by 7%. Cutters increasing production after buying high volume of rough. Alrosa 4Q sales volume +107% to 17M cts. De Beers cuts sightholder list for new contract period, prioritizes clients with factories in Africa. Petra Diamonds Jan. prices +8% to pre-pandemic levels. Luk Fook FY3Q China same-store sales +4%, Hong Kong/Macau -35%. Richemont FY3Q jewelry sales +9%. Martin Rapaport webinar presentation “Surfing Waves of Change” to take place on Feb. 4. Register here.

Fancies: Rising 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 Pears, Emeralds and Radiants above 2 ct. Cushion, Princess and Marquise improving. Excellent cuts and nice shapes 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: Dealers and retailers optimistic for 2021 and looking for goods after successful holiday season. Mid- to high-end jewelers doing well. Small independents with no digital presence struggling. Bridal remains core category. Solid demand for 0.50 to 1.50 ct., G-H, VS-SI stones.

Belgium: Traders upbeat despite ongoing pandemic restrictions. Steady demand from US and China. Good market for 2 ct., D-M, SI diamonds. Larger stones also selling well. European specialist watch retailers saw strong sales of mid-range timepieces this season, which may stimulate appetite for top-quality melee. Rough trading robust during sight week.

Israel: Bourse very quiet as nationwide lockdown continues. Dealers seeing sporadic demand and focusing on maintaining relationships with US clients in online environment. Rising concerns about potential oversupply after large volumes of rough sold. Suppliers hope higher rough prices will help support polished prices in coming months.

India: Positive sentiment amid steady orders and shortages in key categories. Focus shifting back to US as demand from Hong Kong and China tapers off ahead of Chinese New Year. Dossiers moving well. Manufacturers buying large amounts of rough and raising production to fill polished scarcities. Cutters and traders increasingly considering lab-grown diamonds.

Hong Kong: Wholesale market slowing down as retailers complete orders for Chinese New Year. Steady mainland interest in 1.50 to 2 ct., G-J, VS-SI, 3X goods. Closure of China’s borders making it difficult to fulfill transactions. Hong Kong jewelers have low expectations for Chinese holiday season due to lack of tourists. Many local retailers planning to shutter stores after the lunar festival. Retailers on mainland more optimistic. 
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