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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Sep 13, 2018 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Hong Kong fair opens to steady traffic. Suppliers hoping Chinese demand will return after slowdown of past few months. Buyers focused on 0.30 to 1 ct., D-J, VS-SI GIA-graded diamonds, and testing price levels at start of the show. Melee weak. De Beers lets sightholders defer small and lower-value rough at $505M sight. Alrosa Aug. sale +14% to $295M amid shift to higher-value goods. Rough premiums fall to between 2% and 3% on secondary market. De Beers estimates 2017 global rough sales +2% to $16.6B, production +15% to $17.5B, diamond-jewelry demand +2% to $82B. Insight report notes millennials and Gen Z account for two-thirds of demand. Chinese firm Fosun buys 80% of IGI.

Fancies: Far East demand improving as Chinese consumers seek Pears and Princesses at better prices. US and European demand mixed. Ovals and Cushions are best sellers, followed by Emeralds and Pears. Marquises and Princesses weak. Oversizes selling well. Steady demand for fine-quality 6 to 10 ct. Ovals, Pears and Emeralds, with prices firming for 3 to 5 ct. due to shortages. US supporting market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Dealer market quiet, with many New York businesses closed Monday and Tuesday for Jewish New Year. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, GIA-graded diamonds. Rising expectations for holiday season. Jewelers modernizing their marketing with focus on omni-channel platforms.

Belgium: Local trading slow as focus turns to Hong Kong show. Rough market cautious after De Beers sight, with boxes selling at lower premiums on the secondary market.

Israel: Bourse was closed Sunday through Tuesday for Jewish New Year and will shut next week on Tuesday and Wednesday (September 18 to 19) for Yom Kippur. Trading in Ramat Gan quiet, with many suppliers exhibiting at the Hong Kong show.

India: Dealers and manufacturers cautious due to high rough prices, reduced bank lending and weaker rupee. Many businesses closed on Thursday for Ganesh Chaturthi festival. US demand improving as retailers prepare for the holiday season. Dealers focused on generating leads in the Far East during Hong Kong show. Local jewelry sales stable.

Hong Kong: Busy activity and steady traffic at the show. Few transactions in opening days as buyers assess prices and availability. Concerns about impact China-US trade war will have on consumer spending. Weaker yuan currency expected to affect tourist spending during October 1 Golden Week.
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