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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jul 1, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Strong US market driving short-term confidence. Polished prices continue upward momentum with good demand and supply shortages. High rough prices supporting polished discounts following June hikes at Alrosa and De Beers. The trade expects 3Q seasonal lull but remains optimistic for holiday season. Dealers cautious about buying at current levels. US jewelers working with less inventory amid store closures and emphasis on e-commerce. Hong Kong retail revenue lagging from lack of tourism. Luk Fook FY’21 sales -21% to $1.1B, profit +18% to $131M. TSL FY’21 sales -9% to $342M, loss of $5.7M. Natural Diamond Council unveils jewelry collection for industry ad campaign.

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 commanding premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Mood optimistic in steady market. Suppliers with inventory are in strong position. Dealers struggling to find the right goods at competitive prices. Some worry the industry can’t sustain its recent uptrend through the summer months. Wholesalers expect seasonal slowdown in July but solid rebound after vacation period. Jewelry retail performing well; positive consumer sentiment driving sales.

Belgium: Polished trading robust after increases in 2Q. Focus is on supply to US and mainland China clients. Buyer uncertainty over price levels. Suppliers frustrated by slow grading turnaround at GIA. Rough demand strong; high bidding at tenders.

Israel: Bourse bustling as suppliers fill US orders. US-focused memo houses doing well. 1 to 3 ct. diamonds moving steadily; the lower the clarity, the better the market. Dealers concerned about rising prices but need inventory to satisfy client requests. Shortages persist due to backlog at GIA and lower rough production.

India: Sentiment positive. Stable demand from US and Hong Kong. High turnover of goods. Strong movement in 1 ct. and larger. Manufacturing gradually rising as Surat workers return after traveling home during peak of coronavirus outbreak. Polished scarcities supporting market as cutters struggle to find rough at the right price.

Hong Kong: Dealers gaining confidence amid hopes that Chinese border will reopen this summer. Trade with mainland difficult as travel remains restricted. Polished prices firm because of limited supply from India. Solid interest in round, 1 to 1.50 ct., G-K, VVS-SI1 diamonds. Buyers seeking deeper discounts, but suppliers refusing to budge. Chinese jewelry market focused on lower-budget items containing gemstones and pearls.
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