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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jun 24, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Optimism driven by shortages and steady US demand. Some uncertainty regarding prices. Dealers concerned that current price levels may not be sustainable once inventory expands. GIA bottleneck persists amid record global submissions and over one-month turnaround at India labs. Rough market robust during Alrosa sale. De Beers June revenue better than expected at $470M. Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana produces 1,174 ct. diamond. India bank credit to gem and jewelry trade +15% since last July to $8.4B. US April polished imports at $1.6B vs. $28M in 2020. Sotheby’s to accept cryptocurrency for pear, 101.38 ct., D, FL diamond, with estimated value of $10M to $15M.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices firming across most sizes and categories amid shortages and growing fancy demand. Retailers offering wider product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers seeing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Cushions closing price gap with Rounds. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent cuts popular and selling at premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Steady trading; good demand for rounds and ovals with GIA certs. 1 to 2.50 ct., F-H, VS-SIs moving well. Strong sell-through rate on memo orders. Growing concern that large quantity of goods will be released from India and the GIA during the slow summer months.

Belgium: Sentiment strong but some skepticism whether momentum can be maintained. Scarcities supporting upward trend. Stable US market and improving Chinese demand stimulating dealer trading. GIA dossiers and 1 to 2 ct. certs selling well. Rough market firm during this week’s Alrosa sale.

Israel: Dealers upbeat with steady US orders. Uncertainty regarding prices as buyers hesitant to accept higher levels. Suppliers keeping discounts firm since rough is expensive. Polished inventory gradually rising in 0.30 to 1.99 ct. goods.

India: Polished suppliers optimistic as shortages and steady demand support prices. Good export orders and robust local trading. Most categories selling, although VVS relatively slow. Curved fancy shapes strong, and princess cuts improving in better colors. Manufacturers raising capacity but constrained by limits on rough supply.

Hong Kong: Dealer market stable but slightly lagging behind other centers. Trading focused on 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-H, VS-SI and 1 to 1.50 ct., G-J, SI goods. Jewelers gaining confidence as economy improves, although lack of tourism is limiting sales. Bridal demand driving activity. Jewelry retail in mainland China seasonally slow.    
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