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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Sep 17, 2020 11:31 AM   By Rapaport News
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Rising expectations for holiday season. Deloitte predicts 1.5% growth in US retail sales, driven by 25%-35% spike in e-commerce. Jewelers with strong online and social media presence doing well; others struggling. Trading momentum slowed since reopening, with dealers cautious as global Covid-19 cases increase. 5 ct., D, IF strong due to scarcity, fewer suppliers, and demand from wealthy consumers. HB Antwerp buys AMC Belgium factory. Natural Diamond Council unveils actress Ana de Armas as face of exciting new advertising campaign. Israel and Dubai diamond exchanges sign cooperation agreement. Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful Jewish New Year.

Fancies: Reduced inventory supporting prices for select fancy shapes. Ovals and Pears strong in 1.50 to 2 ct., G-K, VS-SI categories and 3 to 5 ct. SIs. Excellent cuts and nice shapes in demand and selling at premiums. Rising orders in China helping the market. Dealers hoping for improved sales of fancy-shape engagement rings as consumers seek alternative designs at lower cost. High availability of fancies below 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Market stable as jewelers prepare holiday-season inventory. High-end jewelers seeing steady interest in special, unique pieces from wealthy clients. Bridal supporting commercial retailers. Jewelry manufacturers looking for melee and turning to local market amid difficulties sourcing from India during Covid-19. Dealers able to move older inventory due to shortages of better-quality goods.

Belgium: Positive sentiment despite uncertainty about pandemic. Steady demand for 0.30 to 1.25, F-I, VS-SI goods. European buyers most active in Antwerp, with very few foreign dealers present due to travel restrictions. Some concern about pending oversupply, with expectations of strong rough sales at next week’s De Beers sight. Focus on online trading during virtual show hosted by Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Israel Diamond Institute.

Israel: Polished trading slow after initial market improvement. Dealers cautious ahead of Jewish holiday season. Three-week lockdown begins following spike in Covid-19 infections. Shift to lower-quality goods, with dealers able to reduce inventory that was previously difficult to sell. Top-quality, large stones firm.

India: Steady trading as dealers and manufacturers acclimate to Covid-19 limitations. Surat polishing factories operating at estimated 60% of capacity. Demand selective as more goods become available following market’s reopening. Suppliers preparing US holiday inventory as November 14 Diwali shutdown nears. Rough prices firm on dealer market ahead of sight week.

Hong Kong: Gradual improvement as more Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. Steady Chinese demand, with focus on 0.30 to 0.50 ct., G-H, VS goods. Shenzhen Jewelry Show slow. Local retail continues to suffer from lack of tourist shoppers. Brands enhancing their presence in mainland China rather than Hong Kong. 
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