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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Dec 6, 2018 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Market focused on jewelry retail as Christmas approaches. Brands targeting female self-purchasers and enhancing omni-channel platforms to drive growth. Diamond market stable. November 1 ct. RAPI +0.6%, supported by US holiday demand and preparations for Chinese New Year. Rough trading cautious as manufacturing profit is tight and inventory high, despite seasonal demand. Signet Jewelers 3Q sales +3% to $1.2B, net loss of $38M. Christie’s NY fetches $62.2M (83% by lot), with cushion, 8.08 ct., fancy-vivid-blue, VS2 Bulgari ring selling for $18M ($2.3M/ct.). Sotheby’s NY sells $46.4M (89% by lot), led by cushion, 51.52 ct., F, IF Harry Winston ring that sold for $4M ($77,154/ct.).

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: Market driven by last-minute orders before Christmas. General retail holiday sales good, but slightly down from last year. Dealers starting to see sales of goods sent on memo. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-I, VS-SI diamonds. Consumers seeking diamond studs, pendants and bracelets, while stacking and layering remains a strong fashion trend.

Belgium: Positive sentiment, with steady last-minute orders for the holiday season. Good European demand, particularly for 1 to 3 ct., G-K, VS-SI diamonds. Larger fancy shapes also moving well, with improvement in princess and ovals. Far East buyers price-sensitive and willing to compromise on color and clarity. Rough trading quiet during Alrosa sale, which began December 5, and ahead of next week’s De Beers sight.

Israel: Active trading, but US demand quieter since jewelers are focused on selling rather than buying. Mediocre Hong Kong show demonstrates selective and price-sensitive Chinese interest. Large available inventory of 0.30 to 0.40 ct. exerts price pressure. Steady interest in 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI. Some suppliers closing overseas offices to cut costs and improve profit margins.

India: Market improving, with noted presence of Chinese and Israeli dealers looking for goods. SI3-I1 clarities moving better. Buyers pushing for higher discounts and prepared to wait for the right price. Manufacturers operating at reduced capacity, and rough trading restrained ahead of De Beers sight. Local jewelry market stable during ongoing wedding season.

Hong Kong: Positive sentiment amid stable polished trading. Last week’s show didn’t stimulate significant market improvement. Jewelers looking for inventory ahead of Chinese New Year season. Good demand for 1 ct., D-J, VS-SI (3X, no-fluorescence). Some concern of slowdown due to weaker currency and impact of trade war.
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