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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jul 22, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Market upbeat despite summer lull and high rough prices. Dealers filling orders, spurring confidence for holiday season. US jewelry sales +108% in June, Mastercard reports. Luxury jewelers make strong recovery. Richemont 1Q jewelry maisons’ sales +132% to $3B. Polished prices firm amid supply shortages and consistent demand. Miners drastically reduced rough inventory in 1H; manufacturers raised polished production. De Beers, Alrosa 1H rough prices +14%. De Beers 2Q production +134% to 8.2M cts., sales of 7.3M cts. at $135/ct. Alrosa 2Q production +22% to 7M cts., sales of 11.4M cts. at $96/ct. Belgium June rough imports +187% to $1B. Industry mourns passing of Willie Nagel.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices firming across most sizes and categories amid shortages and growing fancy demand. Retailers offering wider product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers seeing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Cushions closing price gap with Rounds. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent cuts popular and commanding premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Optimistic mood amid steady wholesale and retail business. High-end jewelers doing well. Consumers enjoying stock-market wealth boom and savings from Covid-19 lockdowns. Dealers making good sales but struggling to buy. Large fancies in demand; strongest category is 2 ct., H-M, SI. Melee robust but experiencing shortages since manufacturers shifted to certified diamonds in the past year.

Belgium: Dealers busy filling orders before three-week summer vacation. Bourses to close August 2 to 22. Steady US, European and Chinese markets driving activity. Demand spread across broad range of goods. Large stones above 10 ct. slightly slow. Rising concerns about rough prices.

Israel: Polished trading upbeat. Dealers looking for goods locally as travel to other sourcing centers remains limited. Finding the right certified stones proving difficult. Steady market for 1 to 1.99 ct., G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. India manufacturing restrictions and high rough prices supporting polished valuations.

India: Positive sentiment amid strong US and Chinese demand. Local retail improving. Steady movement in 1 to 2 ct., G-I, VVS-VS2. Supply scarcities continue, but more certified diamonds becoming available as GIA releases more goods to the market. Rough prices prompting concerns about manufacturing profitability. Factories operating at 70% to 80% of capacity.

Hong Kong: Trading relatively slow. Stable interest in 0.30 to 0.80 ct., D-I, VS-SI2, 3X categories; 3 ct. sluggish. Low expectations for next week’s gem and jewelry shows. Chinese buyers limited to online and local sourcing since border remains closed. Luxury shoppers absent from high-end Hong Kong malls. China retailers focusing on summer promotions. Pure gold jewelry outperforming diamonds.
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