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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Aug 20, 2020 11:18 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished market improving as governments ease Covid-19 restrictions. Dealers emphasizing digital trading. US and China driving demand for select categories. Uptrend in 0.30 to 0.89 ct. SIs. Suppliers staying firm on prices as dealers struggle to fill orders. Cutters consider increasing production as expectations rise for holiday season. Alrosa 2Q profit -98% to $3.6M. Tiffany extends traceability program to include where cutting, grading and setting took place. Gary Schuler replaces David Bennett as chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry. Rapaport A3 Diamond Specs changed to exclude faint fluorescence.

Fancies: Reduced inventory supporting prices for select fancy shapes. Ovals and Pears strong in 1.50 to 2 ct., G-K, VS-SI categories and 3 to 5 ct. SIs. Very fine fancy cuts selling at a premium. Rising orders in China helping the market. Excellent cuts and nice shapes in demand. Dealers hoping for improved sales of fancy-shape engagement rings as consumers seek alternative designs at lower cost. High availability of fancies below 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Market active in specific categories. Jewelers insisting on memo supply and avoiding inventory buying. Shortages supporting prices as dealers compete for goods to fill orders. Steady demand for 1 to 3 ct., G-I, VS-SI diamonds. Estate jewelry improving in the secondhand market. Rising interest in fancy yellows.

Belgium: Bourses to remain closed until end of August due to summer vacation. Dealers starting to return from holiday amid increasing demand from US and China. Monthly polished exports reach $580 million in July, up from $469 million in June but down 35% from $898 million year on year. Rough imports 30% below previous year at $376 million.

Israel: Steady memo orders from US driving cautious optimism. Shortages supporting prices of select popular categories. A lot of less-desirable diamonds available. Dealers looking for specific goods are not finding supply. Indian manufacturers maintaining firm prices. Large stones improving in commercial quality ranges, with solid demand for 3 to 5 ct. SIs.

India: Fewer dealers active due to Paryushan Jain festival, which ends over the weekend. Rising demand for rough, with prices firming on the secondary market. Factories operating at 30% to 50% capacity. Businesses gradually increasing operations as government eases restrictions. China and US orders picking up. Some mulling shorter Diwali vacation if improvement continues. Local jewelers gradually reopening but refraining from buying new inventory.

Hong Kong: Sentiment positive as government manages to contain third wave of coronavirus infections. Social distancing measures still in place. Steady orders from China, with focus on 1 to 2 ct., D-K, VS-SI (VG+, no fluorescence). Dealers optimistic for fourth-quarter holiday season after months of pent-up demand. Hong Kong luxury retail continues to struggle. Many stores closing, citing high rent and labor costs.
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