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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

May 13, 2021 10:00 PM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond market restrained due to supply bottleneck as Covid-19 spike in India curbs manufacturing. Trading shifting to Antwerp and other centers. Surat production focusing on larger goods as factories struggle with absenteeism and social distancing rules. Steady interest in 1 to 2 ct., D-J, VS-SI diamonds. Good US demand; April jewelry sales +255%, Mastercard reports. China seasonally quiet. Rough market firm amid polished shortages. Alrosa April sales $401M vs. $16M a year earlier. US 1Q polished imports +21% to $4.5B, exports -3% to $3.4B. Christie’s Geneva sells $63.5M (91% by lot), with rectangular step-cut, 100.94 ct., D, IF diamond going for $14.2M ($141,000/ct.).

Fancies: Market robust. Upturn in prices for 0.30 to 0.99 ct. goods of various shapes. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Shortages of 1.25 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VVS2-SI2 fancies. Retailers offering wider product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes at more affordable prices than rounds. Dealers seeing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Excellent cuts in demand and selling at premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Optimistic mood on 47th Street. Steady memo orders. Good demand for 1 to 3 ct., D-I, VS-SI ranges. Commercial-quality (G-H, SI) stars and melee also selling well. Shortage of well-cut diamonds. Consumer confidence up following rollout of vaccines and stimulus checks.

Belgium: Local dealers busy since India Covid-19 lockdown shifted some activity from Mumbai to Antwerp. Foreign buyers scarce due to Belgium’s quarantine requirements. Emphasis on online and remote selling. Solid demand for 1 to 3 ct., D-J, IF-SI diamonds. Rough market stable.

Israel: Fewer people in the bourse due to escalation of missile attacks on the country; trading floor closed Wednesday. US driving orders. Focus on 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI center stones for engagement rings. Sourcing goods difficult due to India Covid-19 spike and travel restrictions in Europe. Online platforms remain important outlet.

India: Manufacturing continuing despite partial restrictions in Surat. Trading limited during coronavirus wave, creating cash-flow problems. Steady demand and supply shortages supporting market. Strong polished sales to US and Far East, with 1 to 2 ct., D-J, VS-SI diamonds moving well. Lower clarities performing best.

Hong Kong: Trading slow during quiet season for Chinese retail. Local sentiment improving as infection rates drop and optimism for economy rises. Solid interest in 1 ct., H-J, VS-SI2 diamonds. Goods above 2 ct. moving sluggishly. Sellers maintaining prices amid low inventory levels.
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