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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Dec 23, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond trade upbeat in final week before Christmas. Season strong so far. Retailers with seamless omni-channel programs did best as consumers combined online with pent-up desire to shop in stores. Momentum continuing despite rapid spread of Omicron. Dealers looking for goods but struggling to buy at current price levels. Rough trade robust due to shortages and rising expectations for post-holiday inventory replenishment. De Beers Dec. sight -27% to $332M, estimated 2021 rough sales +72% to $4.8B. Petra sells 32.32 ct. pink rough to Diacore for $13.8M. Rio Tinto appoints Angela Bigg as first female president and COO of Diavik mine. Rapaport wishes everyone happy holidays.

Fancies: Market robust. Good demand across all sizes. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing scarcities. 0.30 to 0.99 ct. improving. Prices high and stable, supported by supply 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 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: Retailers enjoying excellent holiday season. Busy foot traffic at stores despite Covid-19 Omicron outbreak. Mid-size to large jewelers carefully managing inventory, hedging against potential price declines in 2022. Finding right goods at reasonable prices proving difficult on dealer market. Commercial and top-quality melee hot in G and lower colors.

Belgium: Dealers filling last-minute US and European orders. Growing demand from Hong Kong. Profitable goods hard to find, particularly nice piqué. Notable price inflation of stones below 0.15 ct. over past two months. Rough trading steady; premiums rising on secondary market.

Israel: Optimistic mood in the bourse. Suppliers have completed holiday orders and are expecting higher sell-through than usual on memo items. Locals frustrated with new Omicron-related travel bans but have little concern the restrictions will affect the market. Dealers still looking to buy as seasonal lull begins. Strong appetite for rough.

India: Sentiment positive after solid US holiday activity and increasing sales to China. Local market maintaining momentum during wedding season. Good interest in 1 to 2 ct., H-J, SI items. Stars and melee in $150 to $250 range also performing well. Rough market stable; manufacturers expect 1Q rise in polished demand. Some cautious due to high rough costs and rupee depreciation to near-record low of INR 76/$1.

Hong Kong: Dealer trading steady. Jewelers low on inventory and need merchandise ahead of Chinese New Year. Good appetite for 1 ct., D-H, VS2-SI2, 3X diamonds. 1.50 to 2 ct., F-I, VS-SI stones also selling well, with some shifting to VG due to lack of 3X supply. Chinese retail improving and jewelry manufacturers ramping up production ahead of Lunar festival. 
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