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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Oct 31, 2019 11:03 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished trading improving as jewelers prepare holiday inventory. US demand supporting the market. China cautious due to trade war and Hong Kong unrest. Luk Fook 2Q same-store sales -37%. Indian dealers and manufacturers on Diwali vacation. Specific demand creating high inventory of less popular qualities. De Beers 2018 global market estimate finds rough sales +3% to $16.9B, production volume -3% to 154M cts. and value +2% to $17.4B, polished demand +2% to $25.3B, diamond-jewelry demand +2% to $76B. Insight Report outlines changing attitudes toward love and their impact on the industry. LVMH makes $14.5B offer to acquire Tiffany & Co.

Fancies: Fancy shapes soft, reflecting slowdown in overall demand. High-end collection goods weak as dealers and consumers shift to lower price points. Some brands with requests for high qualities are paying a premium for rare items and very well-made fancies. Pears and Ovals are the strongest shapes. Ovals for fashion jewelry moving well in 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: New York Diamond Dealers Club busy during Israel Diamond Week. Buyers looking for profitable goods that are liquid. Dealers holding large volume of less popular diamonds. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-J, VS2-I1 stones. Jewelry retailers starting to implement holiday sales strategies.

Belgium: Sentiment cautious amid dealer concerns about state of the industry and global economic developments. Consistent demand for 1 to 2 ct., G-H, SI2, GIA-certified diamonds. Pears and ovals are strongest fancy shapes. Other categories weak. Fewer rough goods available than usual. Suppliers careful to give credit due to tight manufacturer liquidity.

Israel: Positive activity in the bourse as suppliers focus on filling US holiday orders. Foreign buyers looking for goods in Ramat Gan while Indian dealers are on vacation. Chinese demand slow. Improved market for 0.30 to 0.49 ct., D-G, IF-VS2. Shortages in nonfluorescent RapSpec A3+, SI diamonds due to reduced manufacturing.

India: Market quiet with businesses closed for Diwali break, which began October 27. Mumbai supply offices expected to remain shut for two weeks. Surat factories closed until late November. Some smaller units extending vacation due to weak market conditions.

Hong Kong: Dealer trading sluggish as ongoing protests and trade-war uncertainty affecting business. Some confidence in engagement-ring category, with steady demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS-SI, VG+ stones. Retailers under pressure due to political climate and seeing steep declines in Hong Kong sales. Jewelers discounting heavily to boost turnover, but very few tourist shoppers around to take advantage.
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