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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jan 13, 2022 10:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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Dealers returning from vacation confident that positive momentum will continue. Some polished suppliers holding back goods in anticipation of higher prices after next week’s De Beers sight. Many expect price hike and substantial rough sales in Jan. US retailers starting to restock after successful holiday season. E-commerce jewelry sales more than doubled in Nov.-Dec., according to Adobe. Good outlook for Feb. 1 Chinese New Year. Global jewelers confirm strong 2021: Birks holiday sales +16%; Chow Tai Fook 3Q sales +32%; Titan Company 3Q revenue +36%; Pandora full-year revenue +23% to $1.4B. European Banking Authority report highlights unfair treatment of diamond trade by lenders.

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: Jewelers making orders to replace holiday inventory. Suppliers encountering less price resistance than expected as consumer demand remains high. Some diamantaires concerned about inflation in polished market. Rising expectations for Centurion show (January 29 to February 2) since buyers are aggressively looking for goods. Large stones selling well at low discounts. Fashion segment stronger than bridal over festive season.

Belgium: Dealers upbeat in first work week of new year. High Covid-19 rate not disrupting trade. Sellers in the driver’s seat and able to dictate terms. Rough sector strong ahead of De Beers sight (January 17 to 21) and Alrosa sale (January 24 to 28). Premiums increasing on secondary market.

Israel: Slow traffic in bourse due to widespread Omicron infections. Dealers more cautious than at other centers as prices continue to climb. Robust rough trading fueling polished-price concerns. Many waiting for next week’s sight as key market indicator. Good US orders and memo calls as well as vigorous online activity.

India: Trading steady. Solid interest from US, China and local retailers. Dealers shifting to lower price points; I-M colors performing better than D-F. Round, 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, 3X diamonds moving well. Suppliers holding back sales in anticipation of higher prices later. Manufacturers operating at reduced capacity due to Covid-19, but rough appetite strong ahead of sight week.

Hong Kong: Dealer market quiet; retailers have enough inventory for Chinese New Year. Buyers being conservative due to Omicron spread. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.90 ct., D-H, VS-SI diamonds. Larger items slower. Local stores struggling as border closure keeps tourist shoppers away. New Covid-19 restrictions impacting consumer sentiment and in-person traffic. 
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