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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

May 6, 2021 12:00 PM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond market activity slower due to spike in Covid-19 cases in India. Many small-scale Surat factories shut because of health concerns and lack of workers. Drop in polished production supporting prices. 1 ct. RAPI +2.5% in April. Cutters focused on larger, better-quality goods. Dealers struggling to replace inventory. Solid rough buying at De Beers sight as sightholders expect shortages; fewer goods on offer due to mining issues. US and China driving demand. Jewelers optimistic for Mother’s Day (May 9). Tiffany & Co. launches engagement rings for men. Pandora swaps natural for lab-grown diamonds, claiming move aligns with sustainability goals.

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 witnessing 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: Sentiment mixed. Suppliers with large inventories doing well and filling orders. Smaller businesses seeing specific demand and struggling to find the right goods. Sold items proving difficult to replace. Strong engagement ring sales supporting market for 1 ct., D-K, VS-SI diamonds.

Belgium: Dealers optimistic and looking for goods to meet steady US demand. Europe slow as coronavirus cases remain relatively high. Solid interest in 1 to 2 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds. Emphasis on better qualities and larger sizes. Some supply concerns due to India restrictions and lower availability of De Beers rough.

Israel: Upbeat mood and good activity in the bourse. Dealers keen to buy and sell but limited by scarcities. Smaller operations under pressure as travel restrictions prevent them from sourcing in India. Larger companies with existing inventory are gaining market share. Stable demand for 1 to 1.49 ct., G-H, VS-SI items. Fancies below 1 ct. seeing uptrend.

India: Strong overseas orders supporting market during ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Local activity subdued. Liquidity concerns increasing. Larger manufacturers maintaining high polished production while smaller businesses continue to shut down. Shortages emerging in lower sizes. Melee moving better than stars. Traders expecting to cancel summer vacations to compensate for current slowdown.

Hong Kong: Trading stable during low season in mainland China. Solid demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS2-SI2, 3X diamonds in rounds and fancy shapes. Local retail improving as Covid-19 situation eases. Hong Kong-based sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts up 81% year on year in March but still well below 2019’s numbers due to decline in tourism. Gold jewelry strong in Chinese stores following price drop.
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