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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Aug 5, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond trading quiet amid summer lull and uncertainty over Covid-19 Delta variant. Dealers preparing for Vegas show, but travel restrictions will limit international presence. US supporting the market, with steady orders and good memo sell-through. Polished prices firm despite increase in inventory; 1 ct. RAPI +3.1% in July. Rising expectations for holiday season. Rough market stable after recent price hikes. Rio Tinto 1H diamond revenue +13% to $160M, profit of $5M. Sarine 1H sales +61% to $36M. Jewelers of America appoints Robert Moeller as chairman. Sam Sandberg named president of Plumb Club. Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa elects Molefi Letsiki as chairman.

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: Sentiment positive. Dealers struggling to find goods because of high prices. Steady appetite for round, F-I, VS-SI diamonds with no black center, but not enough clean goods to meet demand. Ovals, radiants and pears selling well in 2 carats and higher. Estate jewelry market strong, with dealers seeking old mine and European cuts. Industry preparing for Las Vegas shows amid Covid-19 Delta wave.

Belgium: Slow activity due to summer break. Some dealers still filling orders, mainly from US and Asia. European market cautious; local retail slow amid virus outbreaks. Rough demand robust despite high prices at Antwerp tenders.

Israel: Market quiet with many dealers on summer vacation. Some uncertainty due to sudden surge in coronavirus cases. Further slowdown expected as tighter restrictions to be enforced next week. Many planning to attend JCK Las Vegas show despite mandated quarantine on return. Polished trading steady in line with global recovery.

India: Diamantaires upbeat but rising concerns that upward trend may not be sustained. US demand supporting the market. Steady interest in 0.30 to 0.70 ct., D-G, VVS-VS, 3X diamonds. 1 to 2 ct. goods selling well. Shortages of SI-and-lower rounds and fancies. Manufacturers raising polished production but high rough prices impacting margins.

Hong Kong: Wholesale and retail markets improving as Covid-19 outbreak eases. Steady demand for 0.30 to 1.50 ct., D-J, VS-SI2, EX-VG diamonds. Some movement in 2 to 3 ct., G-K stones. Last week’s Hong Kong International Jewellery Show very slow; few sales take place, but exhibitors welcome opportunity to meet potential clients. Chinese market relatively slow; emphasis on e-commerce as spread of Delta variant on the mainland raises concerns.
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