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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jun 3, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Supply shortages driving uptrend in prices. 1 ct. RAPI +0.8% in May. Inventory declining; number of 0.30 to 0.50 ct., RapSpec A3+ stones on RapNet -23% since April 1. Large US and Chinese retailers stimulating demand. Scarcities and rising prices making it hard for dealers to replenish polished goods. Major suppliers with inventory and efficient online systems are selling at strong premiums compared to smaller firms with limited e-commerce platforms. Rough trading robust ahead of next week’s De Beers sight. Items on secondary market achieving high profits as small-scale manufacturers struggle to source rough. Covid-19 outbreak causing mining disruptions in Canada.

Fancies: Market robust. Upturn in prices for 0.30 to 0.99 ct. goods of various shapes. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. 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 seeing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. 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: Short week due to Memorial Day. Dealers upbeat as orders continue to stream in, but frustrated at difficulty of sourcing the right inventory. High sell-through rate on memo calls. Strong demand for goods below 0.25 ct. in G-H, IF-SI range. Steady interest in round, 2 to 2.50 ct., H-I SIs, and ovals of 2 to 4 ct.

Belgium: Market optimistic amid steady US and Chinese demand. Selling mainly taking place online since international buyers are still subject to travel restrictions. Local dealer trading improving as suppliers struggle to fill orders due to shortages. Good demand for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Rough sector strong ahead of June De Beers sight (June 7 to 11).

Israel: Activity picking up. Bourse hosts first Blue & White diamond fair in trading hall since pandemic began. Stable polished demand in all sizes. 1.50 to 2.99 ct. most requested category. 1 ct., F-I, VS2-SI2 also selling well. Melee improving. Dealers making money off inventory they bought in April-May but finding it hard to replace goods they’ve sold.

India: Ongoing Covid-19 struggles causing concern. Manufacturing at estimated 60% to 75% of capacity for smaller goods and 90% for larger stones. Backlog at grading labs leading to shortages. Polished scarcities driving robust rough trading. Suppliers optimistic due to steady export demand.

Hong Kong: Stable wholesale market. Pandemic appears to be under control, contributing to positive sentiment. Solid orders for 0.30 to 0.80 ct., F-J, VS-SI and 1 ct., D-J, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. Many dealers downsizing and relocating to lower-rent spaces after difficult few years. Concerns that more Chinese buyers are going directly to Indian suppliers and cutting out Hong Kong dealers. Retail seasonally slow; some jewelers offering discounts to stimulate sales. 
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