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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Dec 2, 2021 10:35 AM   By Rapaport News
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Sentiment upbeat after strong start to holiday season. Jewelry sales +78% over Thanksgiving weekend, Mastercard SpendingPulse reports. Overall e-commerce -1.4%, according to Adobe. Signet Jewelers 3Q revenue +18% to $1.5B, profit up tenfold to $93M. Jewelers with inventory enjoying record season. Dealers struggling to buy at current prices. 1 ct. RAPI +0.9% in Nov. China and Hong Kong improving ahead of Lunar New Year. Concern that Covid-19 Omicron strain will limit trading due to new travel restrictions. Rough market stable for now; manufacturers worried about shortages and tighter profit margins. India Oct. polished exports +45% to $2.6B, rough imports +2% to $1.4B.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices high and stable, supported by supply shortages. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing scarcities. 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 shapes commanding premiums. Steady demand in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Retail jewelers seeing strong sales momentum and optimistic for 1H 2022. All categories moving well. Bridal and fashion driving growth. Dealers looking for inventory due to positive outlook. Some holding off on selling in hope that solid demand will continue and prices will rise further. 3 ct. and larger strong in rounds and fancies.

Belgium: Polished activity stable. Fewer foreign buyers in Antwerp as new Covid-19 variant restricts travel. US orders strong; Asian demand improving. Good interest in round, 1 to 2 ct., F-H, VVS1-SI1 diamonds. 0.30 to 0.40 ct. weak because of excess inventory; 0.50 to 0.70 ct. firm due to shortages. Larger stones also selling well. Dealers struggling to restock at reasonable prices. Rough market steady ahead of next week’s De Beers sight.

Israel: Polished prices benefiting from increasing demand and low supply of diamonds above 0.50 ct. Companies with inventory enjoying good season. US holiday orders driving market. Buyers looking for goods from India but finding it difficult to meet their needs due to high prices.

India: Polished sector buoyant as manufacturers focus on US and Far East holiday orders. Melee in demand and hard to find. 1 ct. and larger also selling well. Prices rising at rough tenders amid lower mining production. Local jewelry market positive. Industry welcomes US decision to drop proposed tariffs on select Indian goods.

Hong Kong: Trading upbeat during peak season. Solid interest in 1 ct., D-K, VVS-SI2 and 2 to 3 ct., G-H, VS-SI1 stones. Retail improving; sales of jewelry, watches and other hard luxury items +23% in October. Government still planning to reopen border with China as Omicron cases remain limited. Mainland seeing strong performance ahead of Lunar New Year; colored diamonds and gemstones popular.
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