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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jan 16, 2020 10:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished trading stable with selective demand. Dealers focused on filling US orders as jewelers begin post-holiday inventory replacement. Mixed results from the season, with record e-commerce sales driving growth. Signet Jewelers Nov.-Dec. revenue -1% to $1.8B. Rising expectations for Jan. 25 Chinese New Year as US and China sign trade deal. Chow Tai Fook 3Q China sales +17%, Hong Kong -38%. China wholesale slowing ahead of vacation period. Concerns about oversupply amid expectations for large Alrosa and De Beers sights. India 4Q rough imports +5% to $3.8B, polished exports -16% to $4.4B. Lucara collaborates with HB Company and Louis Vuitton to polish 1,758 ct. Sewelô diamond.

Fancies: Ovals are strongest shape, driven by US fashion jewelry demand. Emeralds above 2.50 ct., D-G, VVS2-VS2 also selling well. Pears slightly slower due to sluggish Hong Kong market. Princess and Marquise continue to struggle. Well-shaped and fine-cut fancies have become a profitable niche with good demand and strong prices, especially Ovals, Emeralds and Pears. Fancies with classic and long ratios trending in fashion segment. Shortage of top-make fancies 1.50 ct. and larger in all categories except D color. US sustaining market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Dealer markets cautious. Buyers remain price-sensitive and selective. Stable demand for 1.50 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds. Jewelers assessing their inventory requirements and continuing to focus on memo supply. Steady interest in engagement rings as Valentine’s Day promotions begin.

Belgium: Traders more optimistic than before the New Year break. Solid demand for 0.30 to 0.70 ct., D-F, VS-SI diamonds. Good US orders for 1 ct., G-K, SI stones. Fancy shapes slower than expected for this time of year, with interest in ovals. Rough trading steady during Alrosa sale.

Israel: Market stable and dealers gaining confidence. Large volume of less desirable goods available. Diamantaires struggling to differentiate between non- and faint fluorescence despite price gaps. Rising concern that influx of new polished will recreate oversupply and put pressure on prices. Large stones remain weak.

India: Polished trading quiet due to holidays in China and India. Demand from local dealers for dossiers under 1 ct. Fewer overseas buyers than usual for this time of year. Rough buying improving but manufacturers still cautious about raising factory production. Jewelry sales slow due to high rupee gold price.

Hong Kong: Wholesale market quiet as businesses close for Chinese New Year. Focus shifting to retail ahead of the festival. Rising expectations for sales in mainland as US and China reach trade agreement. Hong Kong luxury sluggish. Larger jewelry chains focused on China expansion and reducing Hong Kong presence, with Chow Tai Fook planning to close up to 15 stores in the municipality. 
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