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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Oct 21, 2021 10:40 AM   By Rapaport News
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Jewelers optimistic for the holiday season. Polished demand outpacing supply, but inventory levels rising and buyers concerned about price increases. Approximately 1.7M stones valued at $7.5B on RapNet. Supplier prices firm due to high rough costs. Strong memo sell-through. De Beers sees robust rough demand at $490M Sep. sight; 3Q production +28% to 9.2M cts., sales volume +18% to 7.8M cts. Alrosa warns of rough shortages, says 10% price hike drove 3Q revenue +59% to $938M. India Sep. rough imports +24% to $1.7B. De Beers’ Lightbox to sell loose lab-grown stones to consumers. Chow Tai Fook testing synthetics brand. Rapaport Auctions sells $8,867,863 (80% by lot and 82% by value).

Fancies: Market robust. Prices high and stable. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing shortages. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers report increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Radiants 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: Business steady as jewelers prepare for the holiday season. Some concern retailers won’t have enough merchandise to match demand. Dealers struggling to find stock that can resell at a profit. Good appetite for 2 to 3 ct., F-J, VS-SI diamonds. Stones below 1 ct. relatively weak. Well-made fancies strong.

Belgium: Polished trading stable. Growing worries about softening Far East market. 1 ct., F-H, VVS diamonds moving well, with focus on US bridal lines. Fancy colors slower than before. Rough trading robust as stones garner steady premiums on the secondary market.

Israel: Positive sentiment despite relatively low activity. Focus is on US market, with increased orders for 1.50 to 2 ct., G-J, VS-SI stones. 3 to 5 ct. fancy shapes also performing well. Dealers finding it hard to acquire the right items at reasonable prices. Buyers starting to travel again, seeking diamonds in India and Hong Kong.

India: US supporting the market as retailers ready holiday offerings. Solid demand for 0.50 to 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds. High rough prices limiting manufacturing levels even with Diwali break approaching (beginning Nov. 4). Traders expecting longer down time than usual for factories because of thin profit margins. Buyers reluctant to purchase polished for inventory. Local jewelry sales picking up ahead of wedding season.

Hong Kong: Brisk trading ahead of fourth-quarter festivities and Chinese New Year. Demand up for 0.30 to 0.80 ct., D-I, VVS-SI goods; 1 ct. also strong in both rounds and fancies. Retail improving as coronavirus situation eases. Mixed outlook for peak season, with gold jewelry outperforming studded pieces.
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