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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Nov 1, 2018 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Rising expectations for holiday season as Conference Board’s US consumer confidence index hits 18-year high in October. Steady US demand for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds, but polished prices softening amid India liquidity concerns. 1 ct. RAPI -0.9% in October. Rough market quiet, with factories closing for next week’s Diwali festival. Jewelers reducing in-store inventory, using technology to tap into suppliers’ stock and improve the customer experience. Letšeng mine 3Q average price -1% to $1,841/ct. Alrosa joins De Beers Tracr blockchain. Petra Diamonds appoints Varda Shine to board. The Rapaport Group wishes all our friends a happy, enlightening Diwali.

Fancies: Far East demand improving as Chinese consumers seek fancy shapes at better prices. US and European demand mixed. Ovals and Cushions are best sellers, followed by Emeralds and Pears. Radiants improving. 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: Polished trading improves as holiday season approaches. Dealers focused on 0.70 to 1.50 ct., G-J, SI-I1, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Buyers looking for bargains as India factories close in November. Jewelers avoiding unnecessary inventory and taking more goods on memo. Focus on fashion jewelry for the season, while bridal market remains stable.

Belgium: Mixed mood, with suppliers to the US doing well. Fewer Indian buyers in Antwerp due to upcoming Diwali holiday and tight liquidity in Mumbai market. Stable demand for 1 ct., F-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Uncertified piqué goods improving. Rough trading quiet.

India: Cautious sentiment amid several bankruptcy rumors. Polished trading steady as dealers fill orders before the November 7 Diwali break. Consistent demand for SI-I1 clarities in all categories. Chinese buyers drive improvement in melee. Sales-and-distribution offices closing for one week over Diwali, and smaller Surat factories shutting for three-to-four weeks.

Israel: Steady activity, with dealers focused on filling US orders. Traders looking for buying opportunities in India before Diwali. Stable demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-J, VS, but prices under pressure due to oversupply. Melee being squeezed by shift to high-quality CVD. Fine-cut fancy shapes selling well.

Hong Kong: Slight improvement in trading. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.70 ct., D-G, VVS-VS goods. 1 to 1.50 ct., G-K, VS-SI also moving well, but bigger sizes slower. Dealers discounting old stock to stimulate sales. Traders optimistic for November peak season, despite concerns over impact of US-China trade war on consumer spending.
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