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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Oct 14, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Rising expectations for US holiday season as retailers see strong sales momentum. Major jewelers carrying good inventory and hoping to capitalize on shipping delays affecting electronics and appliances. Signet Jewelers raises 4Q forecast, agrees to buy Diamonds Direct for $490M. LVMH 3Q jewelry sales +125% to $2.5B, buoyed by Tiffany acquisition. China outlook cautious after drop in domestic tourist spending during Oct. Golden Week. Chow Tai Fook 2Q sales +56%. Rough market quiet amid price concerns and shortages. Alrosa Sept. rough sales -12% to $289M. Rio Tinto invests in Angola’s Chiri exploration project. Sotheby’s Hong Kong garners $50M, but top lots fail to sell.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices high and stable. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing shortages. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers report increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Radiants 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: Market improving as retail jewelers prepare for holidays. Pent-up wedding demand fueling robust engagement-ring sales. Steady orders for 1 to 2 ct., F-K, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. Larger sizes also moving well for bridal. High price levels making it hard for dealers to source goods they can resell at a profit.

Belgium: Polished trading quiet amid decline in Chinese demand. US orders driving activity; stable market for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds. Fancy shapes and fancy colors improving as consumers seek unique pieces. Secondary rough market slower, with fewer goods available and concerns growing about profitability.

Israel: Suppliers optimistic for the holiday season. Dealers looking for merchandise but struggling to find lucrative opportunities. Buyers pushing for higher discounts; sellers holding firm due to steep rough costs. Solid interest in 1 ct., G-J, VS2-I1, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Weaker demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-H, IF-SI items.

India: Manufacturers maintaining high production levels to fill US holiday orders ahead of Diwali break (beginning Nov. 4). Good liquidity among large exporters. Profit margins tight due to expense of rough. Smaller cutting units finding it difficult to buy rough on secondary market. Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) opens first International Gem & Jewellery Show in Dubai.

Hong Kong: Trading down amid weak consumer sentiment. Quarantine rules continue to limit retail sales as luxury tourist shoppers remain unable to visit. Informa Markets replaces November show with online event. Chinese market cautious following coronavirus surge, power shortages and real-estate crisis.
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