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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Sep 10, 2020 11:31 AM   By Rapaport News
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Business improving ahead of holiday season. Retailers preparing inventories amid steady US and Far East demand for 0.30 to 2 ct. goods in all colors and clarities. Shortages supporting prices. Dealers struggling to fill orders due to low manufacturing and high shipping costs. Polished production rises to 60% of capacity as governments ease Covid-19 restrictions. Cutters’ profit margins up following De Beers and Alrosa price reductions. Belgium August polished exports +6% to $343M, rough imports -7% to $430M. Tiffany sues LVMH for pulling out of takeover deal. India-China border dispute raising concerns for Hong Kong trading.

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. Excellent cuts and nice shapes in demand and selling at premiums. Rising orders in China helping the market. 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: Short working week due to Labor Day. Retail improving ahead of holidays, with consumers gaining confidence to enter stores. Solid bridal demand for round, 1 to 2.50 ct., F-I, VS-SI diamonds as well as ovals and cushions in those ranges. Estate jewelry market picking up as dealers seek goods to fill supply shortages.

Belgium: Outlook improving as polished market strengthens. Low availability of merchandise following months of reduced manufacturing and imports. Steady interest in 0.30 to 0.70 ct., F-H, VS1-VS2 diamonds and 1 to 1.50 ct. collection goods. Antwerp dealers buying from within Europe since pandemic has raised long-distance shipping costs. Belgium rough and polished exports up in August amid release of pent-up demand.

Israel: Supply scarcities and shipment difficulties raising costs of buying goods. Traders struggling to fill orders at the prices they want. Dealers only visiting bourse when there is a need. Government reportedly considering full lockdown lasting more than a month as virus cases soar.

India: Steady interest in round, 0.30 to 2 ct. diamonds (3X, none) in all colors and clarities. Good demand from US and Europe. Hong Kong uncertain after China reportedly raided Indian traders in the municipality over allegations of diamond smuggling. Manufacturing levels increasing as government relaxes lockdown rules. Cutters looking to fill shortages and meet upcoming holiday demand. Local jewelry market improving.

Hong Kong: Trade strengthening, with increased Chinese demand for 0.50 ct., H, VVS goods. Shortages supporting market for diamonds up to 2 ct. in all categories. Larger stones also selling well. Hong Kong government easing social distancing rules. Concerns rising about impact of India-China rift and pro-democracy protests on local market.
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