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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Sep 26, 2019 10:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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Hong Kong show signals shift to lower price points. Chinese dealers and consumers focused on domestic spending, with cautious Far East demand affecting sentiment. Steady interest in 0.30 to 1.99 ct., G-I, SI-I1, RapSpec A3+ diamonds, and reduced supply supporting price levels. 3 ct. and larger, D-F, VVS+ weak. Improved liquidity for inexpensive melee as Rapaport Melee Auction sells $6M (84% by value, 76% by lot). De Beers offers 30% buybacks at Sep. sight. India Aug. rough imports -4% to $861M. Rapaport offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday (Sep. 30-Oct. 1) due to Rosh Hashanah. Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful Jewish New Year.

Fancies: Fancy shapes soft, reflecting slowdown in overall demand. 3 to 8 ct., I-K, VS-SI1 moving better than rounds as dealers and consumers shift to lower price points. Well-known brands are paying highest prices, as are buyers with specific requests. Ovals for fashion jewelry moving well, especially 1.50 and 2 ct., G-H, VS and H-K, SI2. Marquises and Princesses weak despite reduced manufacturing. US sustaining market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Chinese consumers seeking fancy shapes at better prices. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Stable bridal demand ahead of peak engagement season. Retailers preparing inventories for holidays amid uncertain consumer sentiment due to trade war. Profit margins slim. Orders for D-F, IF-VVS goods down in all shapes and sizes. Better movement in 1 to 1.99 ct., G-H, VS-I2. Steady interest in cushions and ovals under 2 ct. Retailers preferring to take items on memo rather than purchasing.

Belgium: Sentiment subdued after slow Hong Kong show. Market expected to remain quiet during upcoming Jewish holiday period. Dealers concerned about exposure to the difficult Far East market. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.70 ct., G-H, SI1-SI2 diamonds.

Israel: Polished market quiet. Smaller dealers fared better than larger companies at Hong Kong fair. Commercial and select SI goods moving. 3 ct. and larger, D-F, IF-VVS diamonds sluggish. Bourse to close next Monday and Tuesday for Rosh Hashanah.

India: Trade cautious, but sales improving in lower price categories. Dealers saw limited sales at Hong Kong show due to slower traffic and drop in Chinese demand. Decrease in supply supporting the market as manufacturers reduce polished output. More cutters entering lab-grown as they seek to improve profit margins and liquidity.

Hong Kong: Low expectations for Oct. 1 Golden Week as both tourist spending and Chinese demand have declined. Fewer visitors at Hong Kong fair due to protests and weak Far East jewelry sector. Some Chinese retailers gradually returning to market after long period without buying, as they anticipate sales over holiday season and Chinese New Year.
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