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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

May 4, 2022 10:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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News: Diamond market split. Suppliers to large US jewelers doing well but dealer trading cautious following recent price declines. 1 ct. RAPI -3.2% in April. Cutters and dealers with US clients separating Russian supply to meet American obligations. China slow. Rough demand weaker despite removal of Russian goods from market. Alrosa postpones sales and will sell to Russia’s Gokhran to raise liquidity. De Beers prices stable at May sight. Petra Diamonds reports rough prices -24% at $86M April tender. Jewelers upbeat ahead of Mother’s Day weekend. Sotheby’s HK sells $38M, with cushion, 3.27 ct., fancy-vivid-blue diamond ring going for $5.3M ($1.6M/ct.). AGS elects Lisa Bridge as president.

Fancies: Market slowing. Supply shortages supporting prices. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category. Oval is leading shape, followed by Emerald, Pear, Cushion and Marquise. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Growing interest in fancy-shape engagement rings. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Chinese demand helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Positive retail sentiment ahead of Mother’s Day weekend and wedding season. Dealer trading stable, but seasonally quiet. Difficult to find top-quality goods due to shortages in key categories. 1 to 2 ct., G-I, VS-SI diamonds for engagement rings performing nicely. Melee strengthening in G-I, VS-SI ranges that are popular in wedding bands and fashion-jewelry pavé settings.

Belgium: Trading has cooled due to uncertainty over Russian supply. Dealers doing business but anxious to see how US sanctions affect demand from jewelers. Opportunistic buyers pushing for better discounts. Rough market cautious during sight week. High-end jewelry robust ahead of GemGenève show (May 5-8).

Israel: Slow week due to Independence Day holiday. Dealers focused on US and planning supply for Vegas shows, which begin June 8. Some traveling to GemGenève. Steady demand for 1 to 1.50 ct., G-J, VS-SI goods. Rough trading stable, but fewer goods available on the secondary market.

India: Polished market quiet but stable. Buyers starting to look for goods and make offers following recent price declines. US demand seasonally quiet. China slow due to Covid-19 lockdowns. Manufacturing levels down due to lower rough availability.

Hong Kong: Sentiment weak as Covid-19 continues to restrict trade and jewelry retail sales. China lockdowns and border closures continue. Larger retailers gaining market share as consumer caution persists. Jeweler Tse Sui Luen (TSL) expects profit of HKD 15 million ($1.9 million) for year ending March 31 versus loss of HKD 44 million ($5.6 million) in previous year.
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