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Rapaport TradeWire February 21, 2019

Feb 21, 2019 10:20 AM   By Rapaport
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Rapaport TradeWire
February 21, 2019
RAPAPORT MARKET COMMENT
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Rising expectations for Hong Kong show (Feb. 26), with hope that Chinese buyers will resume bulk orders following 2018 slowdown. Dealers uncertain about prices. Suppliers taking a lot of goods to the show. Top-make RapSpec A2+ seeing steady demand and short supply. Rough market cautious ahead of De Beers sight, as manufacturers are squeezed by high rough prices and inflated polished inventory. De Beers 2018 revenue +4% to $6.1B, earnings -34% to $349M, average price +6% to $171/ct. Petra Diamonds appoints Richard Duffy as CEO, 1H revenue +8% to $207M, loss of $58M vs. loss of $118M the previous year. India Jan. polished exports -16% to $1.7B, rough imports -40% to $858M.

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RAPNET DIAMOND INDEX (RAPI)
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Weekly Monthly Y2Y
0.30 ct -0.11% -0.91% -8.74%
0.50 ct 0.22% 0.02% -2.33%
1.00 ct 0.19% 0.21% -2.91%
3.00 ct 0.14% -0.62% -6.00%
RAPI Yearly Graph
Trade Wire 600X160 April 2018
Market Reports
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United States: Mixed reports about Valentine’s Day, with busy traffic at big brands and shift to lower price points...
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Belgium: Focus on filling specific requests from US and Europe, rather than bulk orders...
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Israel: Dealers struggling to compete with India on price...
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India: Manufacturers maintaining lower production, as inventory of low-quality polished remains high...
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Hong Kong: Wholesale trading improving, with some pre-orders before the Hong Kong show, which begins Feb. 26...
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Synthetics: The Meat of the Matter
WITH Avi Krawitz

The meat industry is facing similar challenges diamonds went through in the early stages of the lab-grown debate. With the discussion in our sector now at a more advanced phase, the natural-diamond trade needs to get off the defensive. 

UPS AND DOWNS
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Mothae Will Add Significant Value to Lucapa, Says Analyst
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January’s Top-Selling Jewelry Brands
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Jeweler H. Samuel Fined for Online-Pricing Breaches
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Police Seize Assets from Four Banks in Diamond Probe
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2019 Jan 31 Rap Net Free Trial 600X160
WEEKLY NEWS
industry
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Higher Costs Hit De Beers Profit
Underlying earnings fall 34% to $349 million in 2018.
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Rare 88ct. Diamond to Lead Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Stone is one of only three oval cuts over 50 carats ever to be auctioned.
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China Downturn Still Plagues Swiss Watches
Exports to the country fell 15% in January.
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Blom Urges Joint Effort to Mend South Africa Trade
Close cooperation will help reverse slowdown in cutting sector, says WFDB president.
retail
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Holiday Sales Growth Misses Expectations
NRF questions government data showing increase of just 2.9%.
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Couples Paying Less for Rings, Survey Shows
Average outlay on engagement pieces down 2% to $5,680, says The Knot.
mining
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Petra Names New CEO to Drive Turnaround
Richard Duffy is a veteran of the mining industry.
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Lucara Recovers 223ct. Diamond at Karowe
Stone will be up for sale at March tender.
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Vast to Mine Zimbabwe’s Marange Fields
UK-based company will collaborate with local development trust.
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Lucapa Recovers 128ct. Rough
Miner also finds 7.5-carat purple-pink stone.
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Gem Diamonds’ Letšeng Mine Yields 13ct. Pink
Stone is largest of its color the company has found since 2011.
general
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Baselworld Owner Gets New Chief
Bernd Stadlwieser will help implement the watch exhibition’s transformation.
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India Starts Year with Export Slump
Rough and polished trading declines in January.
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34ct. Yellow Diamond Sells for $520K
Ring once belonged to the king and queen of Hawaii.
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Belgium Trade Slows in January
Polished exports down 4%, rough imports slump 33%.
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FINANCE
Diamond Industry Stock Report
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Mining companies had a rough week. Lucapa Diamond (-8%) dropped following disappointing results from an exploration project, while Firestone Diamonds (-10%) fell again after a large-stone find had boosted its stock performance in the previous week. Petra Diamonds (-13%) continued its weakness, as the announcement of a new CEO and a reduced loss failed to improve investor sentiment significantly. Lucara Diamond (+8%) bucked the trend after recovering a 223-carat stone. In retail, Walmart (+2%) gained after holiday sales exceeded analysts’ predictions. Shares in Hong Kong-based Luk Fook (+4.4%) also increased.

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