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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Apr 11, 2019 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Sentiment weak, with Indian cutters lacking liquidity. Steady demand for 1 ct. diamonds supporting the market. Low manufacturing profits placing pressure on under-0.50 ct. sector. Rough prices stable at De Beers sight, with April sales +10% to $575M. Trade expecting shortages, as De Beers plans to reduce supply to sightholders in new sales period. Alrosa March sales -33% to $377M. Graff unveils world’s largest square emerald diamond: A 302.37 ct., D stone cut from 1,109 ct. Lesedi La Rona. LVMH upbeat on luxury market, with 1Q jewelry and watch sales +9% to $1.2B. Far East retail outlook uncertain. Responsible Jewellery Council names Iris Van der Veken executive director.

Fancies: Fancy shapes stable, driven by US and European demand. Ovals for fashion jewelry moving well. Supply shortage supporting prices for Pears, with 1.50 ct. the strongest category. Radiants improving. Marquises and Princesses weak, despite reduced manufacturing. Excellent-cut Ovals, Cushions, Pears and Emeralds doing nicely, with steady orders for fine-quality goods in 6 to 10 ct. Chinese consumers seeking fancy shapes at better prices. US sustaining 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: Trading slow, with weak interest in higher colors and clarities. Suppliers shifting to 1 to 3 ct. G-J, VS-SI diamonds, which have good consumer demand. Retailers not buying for stock, and are willing to pay more for memo to avoid holding goods in inventory.

Belgium: Sentiment low, but market stabilizing. Steady demand for 0.50 ct., SI-I1, G-J diamonds. Fluorescents attracting very deep discounts, especially in 3 ct. and larger. Dealers anticipate shortages as De Beers reduces rough supply.

Israel: Steady movement in 1 to 2 ct. diamonds. Overall bourse activity low, as Tuesday was public holiday due to national elections. Trade slowing ahead of Passover, with exchange partially closing from April 19 to 27.

India: Polished demand sluggish due to tight liquidity. Few overseas buyers in the market. Melee under pressure, especially for VVS qualities, with SI-I1 moving better. Dealers avoiding inventory purchases, instead showing specific demand for select categories. Limited availability of SI clarities as manufacturers decrease production. Jewelry sector subdued.

Hong Kong: Market seasonally quiet. Orders shifting to lower colors. VS the most popular clarity, with buyers considering VVS if the price is right. Shortages of 1 ct., G-J, SI diamonds with triple-Ex cut and no black inclusions, since manufacturers are increasingly shipping polished directly to mainland China rather than sending to Hong Kong. Sentiment down, as trade war with US remains unresolved. Large Hong Kong retailers reducing inventory amid low expectations for coming year.
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