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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Nov 22, 2018 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished market stable as jewelers complete holiday orders. Outlook optimistic for season, but stock-market volatility may impact luxury spending after Dow slumps 3.7% during Thanksgiving week. Mall-based retailers discounting to compete with online Black Friday deals. Prices of small polished weak. Manufacturing margins tight, despite recent rough price cuts. De Beers Nov. sight valued at $440M. Hong Kong jewelers concerned about trade war and weak yuan currency. Sotheby’s Geneva garners $60M, with cushion, 21.19 ct., fancy-light-pink, VVS2 diamond selling for $7.4M ($347,601/ct.). The Rapaport Group wishes all our friends a happy Thanksgiving and a successful holiday season.

Fancies: Fancy-shape market stable, driven by US and European demand for fashion jewelry. Ovals and Cushions are best sellers, followed by Emeralds and Pears. Supply shortage supporting prices for 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. Chinese consumers seeking fancy shapes at better prices. 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 slows ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. Jewelers more focused on sales than sourcing goods. Strong emphasis on improving online platforms for holiday season. A lot of diamonds out on memo, but not many retail sales of those goods yet. Steady demand and firm prices for 1 to 3 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds.

Belgium: Polished trading relatively quiet, with only marginal improvement since Diwali. Focus on filling US orders; fewer coming from China and India. 0.50 to 0.70 ct., G-J, VS-SI selling well. GIA- and IGI-graded stones doing better than HRD. Dealers hoping HRD/AWDC agreement to sell on Alibaba will boost China exposure. Rough trading sluggish.

Israel: Steady activity, driven by US orders and some Hong Kong dealer demand. 0.50 to 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI stable, with some shortage in 0.80 to 0.99 ct. sizes. Diamonds above 2 ct. firm, with good demand for I1s. Fancy shapes solid; fine-cut, pear-shape, 1.50 to 3.99 ct., D-H, SI1 stones selling at -28%/-32%.

India: Dealers cautious after Diwali break, amid tight liquidity and fresh bankruptcy rumors. Fewer transactions than this time last year. Manufacturers have enough inventory, and factories remain closed. Good market for VVS ahead of upcoming wedding season. Steady gold sales reported over Diwali.

Hong Kong: Business improving, with solid demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS-SI (3X, none) diamonds. Dealers also looking at lower colors (J-L). Trading slower than this time last year, but dealers expect pickup ahead of Chinese New Year. Jewelers preparing for holidays are concerned about impact of US-China trade war and weaker yuan (-6.5% since Jan. 1).
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