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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Nov 7, 2019 11:03 AM   By Rapaport News
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Sentiment improving after De Beers reduced rough prices 5%-7% at Nov. sight. Better demand for RapSpec A3+ polished, driven by US holiday orders. Chinese demand and reduced supply supporting 0.30 to 0.50 ct. D-G, IF-VS categories. Potential US-China trade deal boosts expectations for Chinese New Year. 1 ct. RAPI -0.1% in Oct.; 0.30 ct. RAPI +1.5%. Surat manufacturers on Diwali vacation and expected to maintain cautious production. Gem Diamonds sees pressure on large high-end rough, as Letšeng 3Q average price -23% to $1,417/ct. Hong Kong 3Q net polished imports -22% to $1.1B. Peter Meeus and IGI submit competing bids to acquire HRD Antwerp.

Fancies: Fancy shapes soft, reflecting slowdown in overall demand. High-end collection goods weak as dealers and consumers shift to lower price points. Some brands with requests for high qualities paying a premium for rare items and very well-made fancies. Pears and Ovals are the strongest shapes. Ovals for fashion jewelry moving well in 1.50 and 2 ct., G-H, VS and H-K, SI2. Marquises and Princesses weak despite reduced manufacturing. US sustaining market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Chinese consumers seeking fancy shapes at better prices. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell even at very deep discounts.

United States: Steady trading, but wholesale business is weaker than last year’s holiday season. Jewelers looking for memo and not committing to buy. Good demand for 1 to 2 ct., G-H, VS2-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Branded estate jewelry selling well. High-end large diamonds slow, with 5 ct., IF-VVS, D-F category soft. Retailers starting holiday marketing campaigns.

Belgium: Activity picked up in November, with buyers interested in broader range of diamonds.Dealers with the right 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-G, VS-SI goods selling at firmer prices. Shortage of 2 to 4 ct. nice piquè stones. Ovals and pears doing well in 1 to 1.5 ct. range. Fancy yellow diamonds also improving. Rough market improves after De Beers price cuts.

Israel: Dealers gaining confidence amid rise in US orders. More overseas buyers in the bourse. Far East demand still cautious despite upturn in 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-G, IF-VS2, RapSpec A3+ goods. Demand centered on top-quality F-J, SI1-I1 A3+ stones. Ovals, 1.50 to 2.99 ct., VS2-SI2 also selling well.

India: Mumbai market still not fully operational as dealers return from Diwali vacation. Surat factories closed for another week or two.Dealers focused on filling US orders and select demand from China. Shortage of top-quality SIs due to reduced manufacturing. Cutters hoping for better profit margins after Diwali break following De Beers rough price cuts.

Hong Kong: Protests continue to impact business for diamond dealers and jewelry retailers. Rising expectations over potential US-China trade deal, as dispute has significantly affected sentiment in HK/China. Jewelers preparing online inventory for 11/11 Single’s Day sales. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-G, VS-SI goods. Other sizes seeing shift to lower colors. Consumers tightening budgets for Jan. 25 Chinese New Year season.
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