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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Dec 24, 2020 11:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Mood optimistic as US and European dealers close for holidays. E-commerce surges; US online sales +30% on Super Saturday and +56% on Sunday before Christmas. Brick-and-mortar quiet due to spread of Covid-19. Chinese jewelers expecting release of pent-up demand during Feb. 12 Lunar New Year. Manufacturers raising polished production in anticipation of post-holiday inventory replacement. Rough trading robust. Large volumes of polished expected on the market in 1Q. Argyle pinks sell for record value following mine closure. GIA scales down Antwerp business. CNBC special to feature NY diamond trade on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 10 p.m. EST. Rapaport wishes everyone happy holidays.

Fancies: Rising demand for select fancy shapes as consumers seek alternative designs at more affordable prices than rounds. Dealers hoping for increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Ovals, Pears and Emeralds strong in 1.50 to 10 ct. Cushion, Princess and Marquise improving. Excellent cuts and nice shapes in demand and selling at premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. High availability of fancies below 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Rising concern about Covid-19 shutdowns. Some optimism as vaccinations arrive and Congress passes economic relief legislation. Polished market quiet as wholesalers close for Christmas and New Year. A few last-minute orders this week for single stones. Melee business seasonally slow. Retailers with strong online presence saw good holiday sales and expect e-commerce trend to continue in 2021. Independents that rely solely on in-store traffic struggling.

Belgium: Very little trading; bourses officially shut for holidays. Companies made final shipments before taking vacation. Most diamantaires staying in the city due to Covid-19 travel limitations. Some looking for buying opportunities online in anticipation of improved demand in January.

Israel: Activity seasonally quiet. Some interest in the coming week’s bourse elections. Steady demand at Rapaport single-stone auction, with 80% of lots selling. Buyers bargain-hunting and focusing more on non-certified goods. Stronger bidding than usual for ovals, emeralds and marquise among fancy shapes.

India: Positive sentiment after solid holiday orders from US and China. Local market maintaining momentum during wedding season. Dealers keeping discounts stable. Rough trading robust, with firm prices and steady demand. Manufacturing output increasing as polished suppliers prepare for 1Q inventory replacement.

Hong Kong: Dealer trading steady. Last-minute orders for Chinese New Year (Feb. 12) driving business. 0.30 to 2 ct., D-I, VVS-SI, RapSpec A3+ selling well. Shortage of and rising demand for lower-color goods (J-K) in mainland China. Local retail weak; consumer focus mainly on bridal. Mainland stores strong and showing optimistic outlook for 2021.  
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