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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jan 14, 2021 11:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished sentiment positive despite limitations on travel due to Covid-19. Shortages supporting prices. Suppliers anticipate strong 1Q inventory replacement after relatively good US holiday season. Signet Jewelers Nov.-Dec. revenue flat at $1.8B, same-store sales +5.6%, with strong +61% increase in e-commerce. Rising expectations for Feb. 12 Lunar New Year as retailers see robust China recovery. Chow Tai Fook 3Q sales +18%. De Beers and Alrosa expected to release large volumes of rough at Jan. sales. Strong pre-sight demand on dealer market. Alrosa Dec. sales +43% to $522M. LVMH closes $15.8B Tiffany & Co. acquisition; Anthony Ledru to replace Alessandro Bogliolo as the brand’s CEO.

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. sizes. 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: Confidence rising as independent retailers report positive holiday sales. Shortage of goods, particularly in 1 ct., D, IF and top-quality 5 ct.-and-larger diamonds. Steady melee demand, with scarcities supporting prices for SI-I2 clarities. Jewelers assessing inventory requirements and continuing to focus on memo supply. Keen interest in engagement rings as Valentine’s Day promotions begin.

Belgium: Steady activity despite continued Covid-19 lockdown. Good demand for 0.30 to 0.70 ct., G-I, VVS-VS and 1 ct., D-G, VVS-VS categories. Buyers emphasizing 3X again. Rough market busy ahead of next week’s De Beers sight, with expectations that large quantities will be available. Premiums rising on the secondary market.

Israel: Bourse very quiet as the country is in middle of nationwide lockdown. Suppliers to US satisfied with the season but expect lower inventory replacement than usual due to rise of online retail. Some concern that influx of new polished will create oversupply and put pressure on prices. Fancy shapes improving. Manufacturers anticipate robust rough market during next week’s Alrosa and De Beers sales.

India: Polished trading stable as dealers fill demand from US and China. More goods expected in coming months to fill supply gaps. Diamantaires anticipate upturn in coming weeks as US dealers return for post-holiday trading. Manufacturers raising production levels and expecting large rough supply at Jan. De Beers and Alrosa sales. GJEPC hosts IIJS Virtual show.

Hong Kong: Dealers busy filling last-minute orders for the Chinese New Year. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.80 ct., D-H, VVS-VS as well as 1 to 1.50 ct., D-H, VS-SI, 3X goods. Local retail still weak and dependent on domestic demand as tourists unable to travel. Gold jewelry selling well ahead of the holidays. China retail robust with strong e-commerce activity. 
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