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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Dec 9, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished trading driven by last-minute US holiday orders and preparations for Chinese New Year. Retail emphasis on omni-channel, using digital to drive store traffic. Diamantaires satisfied with Dec. orders and overall 2021 results. Polished prices firm; 1 ct. RAPI +0.9% in Nov. Supply shortages in larger sizes. Sotheby’s NY Magnificent Jewels achieves $57M (84% by lot), with 6.11 ct., fancy intense blue, VS2 diamond ring selling for $8M ($1.3M/ct.). Christie’s NY garners $55M (91% by lot). Rough market robust during De Beers sight. Alrosa trims 2022 long-term client list. Angola hoping to grow into important diamond hub and seeking investment in mining and manufacturing.

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: 47th Street busy as dealers, vendors and buyers hustle for bargains before Christmas break. Steady retail jewelry sales; bridal and fashion categories dominating. High-end and antique segments also doing well. Round and fancy-shape, 1.20 to 3 ct., G-J, VS2-SI categories are hot. Fancies strong; nice ovals hard to find.

Belgium: Upbeat mood amid firm polished prices. Supply insufficient to meet demand. Solid market for commercial goods and for 1 to 5 ct., D-H, VS-SI stones. Dealers enjoying successful sales trips and returning just to restock. Fancy colors moving. Rough sector robust during De Beers sight week.

Israel: Trading positive. Focus is on filling final US holiday orders. Dealers looking to buy but struggling to find the right diamonds at profitable prices. 1 ct. SIs and oversizes are strongest categories. 1.50 ct. and larger proving scarce. Buying outside Israel difficult due to travel disruptions from Omicron outbreak.

India: Market stable. Orders from Hong Kong and China for 0.30 to 0.50 ct. improving, but excess inventory remains in these categories. Larger sizes seeing shortages, especially 3 ct. and above. Rough trading steady; demand good despite high prices. Manufacturers gradually raising production to alleviate scarcities and in anticipation of strong first quarter.

Hong Kong: Good activity as Chinese consumers shop ahead of Lunar New Year. Solid demand for 1 ct., D-K, VVS-SI diamonds. Fancy colors moving well on mainland, especially yellows and pinks. Local retail improving. Dealers cautious as travel restrictions remain. Talks continue over reopening Hong Kong-China border.
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