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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Sep 2, 2021 11:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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Dealers return from Las Vegas optimistic for holiday season. Good orders at JCK, Luxury, Antique and Couture shows signal positive sentiment among US independents. Major retailers did not attend but are seeing momentum online and in-store. Signet Jewelers 2Q revenue +101% to $1.8B, profit of $225M vs. loss of $82M a year earlier. Chow Sang Sang 1H sales +69% to $1.4B. Sustainability emerges as key branding and sales point. Brilliant Earth prepares Nasdaq IPO as 1H sales +78% to $163M, profit of $11M vs. $200K a year ago. Rough trading strong after De Beers sight; not enough polished to meet demand. Belgium July polished exports +23% to $710M, rough imports +147% to $927M.

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: Upbeat trading at Las Vegas shows. Serious buyers present despite low attendance overall. Strong sales of round, 1 ct. and larger, E-I, VVS-SI, 3X diamonds. Fancy shapes also moving well. Positive demand for expensive items featuring high-quality melee. Traders optimistic about holiday season. US consumer confidence down in August amid concerns about Delta virus strain, according to The Conference Board.

Belgium: Market quiet during vacation period and ahead of upcoming religious holidays. Stable demand for 1 to 2 ct., G-J, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. Stones above 2.50 ct. also selling well. Customers buying in response to specific needs rather than for inventory as prices remain high. Rough trading strong.

Israel: Activity muted as Covid-19 spike continues and Jewish High Holy Days approach. Few Israelis able to attend Las Vegas shows because of travel restrictions. Good sales of 1 ct., G-I, VS-SI, 3X stones.

India: Trading stable. Scarcities supporting market as demand cools. Steady interest in round, 0.50 ct. and larger, G-I, SI goods. Fancy shapes moving well, especially ovals, pears, princesses and radiants. Rough expensive and in short supply amid summer closure of Antwerp market. Polished production limited; rough resale providing better margins than manufacturing. Reports from Jaipur Jewellery Show positive.

Hong Kong: Sales improving following slow summer season. Demand shifting to smaller sizes. Good movement in 0.30 to 0.80 ct., D-I, VVS-SI1 categories. 1 ct. market retreating due to high prices and greater availability. Low appetite for 2 ct. and larger. Local retail picking up; revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts grew 27% year on year in July. Border closures continuing to support domestic Chinese spending.
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