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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Dec 19, 2019 9:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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Positive sentiment in final week before Christmas. Retail emphasis on omni-channel and improving in-store shopping experience. Brands using pop-up stores to boost customer interaction, test innovations and showcase new products. Strong online sales. Chinese demand driving polished market ahead of Jan. 25 lunar festival as US and China edge toward trade deal. Alrosa positions itself in China with WeChat blockchain program and unveils plan to integrate Kristall polishing units. Rough market stable following $425M Dec. sight. De Beers issues guidelines for sightholders selling synthetics. Rapaport wishes everyone a successful holiday season.

Fancies: Ovals are strongest shape, driven by US fashion jewelry demand. Larger emeralds above 2.50 ct., D-G, VVS2-VS1 also selling well. Pears slightly slower due to sluggish Hong Kong market. Princess and marquise continue to struggle. Fancies with classic and long ratios trending in fashion segment. Shortage of top-make fancies 1.50 ct. and larger in all categories except D color. US sustaining market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Jewelers busy before Christmas. Strong tourist traffic in New York diamond district. Fifth Avenue jewelers pushing branded bridal during peak shopping period. Stable demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI goods. Holiday season success still unclear as dealers wait for feedback on memo sales.

Positive sentiment as activity slows before Christmas and New Year. Indian dealers looking for goods in Antwerp before bourses close for holiday break (Dec. 23 to Jan. 6). Steady orders for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-G, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Big stones still weak. Rough market stable, with more goods available after Dec. De Beers sight.

Israel: Trading quiet, with a lot of diamonds sent to the US on memo. Some Chinese New Year demand, but Far East buyers pushing for deeper discounts. Momentum slowing for 0.30 to 0.50 ct. sizes though prices remain firm. Good demand for 2 to 5 ct., D-J, I1 stones. Concern about tightening profit margins for large stones.

India: Activity down since US and European buyers completed their orders for the season. Focus now on China for Jan. 25 Lunar New Year. Caution still surrounds Hong Kong market. Manufacturers raising production but careful not to build up too much inventory. Shortages supporting prices, as new polished has not yet come to market in large quantities.

Hong Kong:
Local dealer market improving ahead of Chinese New Year. Trading expected to expand in the coming month before the festival. Luxury retail sluggish amid reports of 56% drop in Nov. tourist arrivals year on year. Stable demand from mainland China as jewelers there maintain positive outlook. 0.50 to 0.70 ct., D-I, VS-SI moving well.
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