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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Apr 29, 2021 12:00 PM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond markets mixed. US and China recovery fueling optimism, but uncertainty remains due to worrying coronavirus situation in India. Europe relatively weak. Supply volatility expected in short term. Polished inventory levels declining as manufacturers reduce capacity and GIA backlog rises. Cutters focused on 1 ct. polished and larger. Small De Beers sight projected for next week. US consumer confidence +12% to pre-pandemic levels in April, reports Conference Board. National Retail Federation predicts record Mother’s Day jewelry sales. China 1Q polished imports +393% to $722M. WFDB launches fundraising campaign to help India with Covid-19 battle: campaign.wfdb.com.

Fancies: Market robust. Upturn in prices for 0.30 to 0.99 ct. across various shapes. Shortages of 1.25 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VVS2-SI2 fancies. Retailers offering wider product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes at more affordable prices than rounds. Dealers witnessing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princess, long Radiants and Marquise. Excellent cuts in demand and selling at premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Dealers positive amid stable trading. Melee strengthening in G-I, VS-SI ranges that are popular in wedding bands and fashion-jewelry pavé settings. 1 to 2 ct., G-I, VS-SI diamonds for engagement rings performing nicely. Fancy shapes improving as shoppers seek distinctive looks in post-pandemic period. Rising expectations for Mother’s Day (May 9) amid April jump in consumer confidence.

Belgium: Sentiment upbeat. Suppliers to US and China doing well. European market still cautious due to Covid-19. Pandemic also affecting supply from India. Good demand for 1 ct., E-G, VVS-SI1 stones. Rough trading subdued ahead of De Beers sight.

Israel: Steady activity in the bourse. Dealers looking for goods locally as sourcing from India becomes difficult. Focus on US; more dealers traveling to meet customers. Solid orders for 1 to 1.50 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds for engagement rings. Fancy shapes robust.

India: Lockdowns in Mumbai and Surat restricting diamond trading and manufacturing. Diamond and jewelry markets allowed to operate but working at reduced capacity due to spike in Covid-19 infections. Stable demand from US and China. Supply shortages emerging, especially in -2 small goods. Fancy shapes moving well. Concerns growing about longer billing cycles during virus outbreak.

Hong Kong: Retail sales improving as Covid-19 cases fall and employment levels rise. Pandemic regulations starting to ease. Government green-lights travel bubble with Singapore beginning May 26. Mainland China stores seasonally quiet after strong start to year. Steady demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS2-SI2, 3X diamonds. 2 ct. and larger slower.
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