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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jun 2, 2022 10:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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News: Rising expectations for Las Vegas shows. US demand supporting market despite economic caution. China sluggish but starting to return from Covid-19 lockdown. Polished prices stabilizing amid inventory decline in select categories. 1 ct. RAPI -0.5% in May. Small rough strong; tender prices high as Russian sanctions leave supply gap. Some big cutters buying Alrosa goods. Traders anticipate large De Beers sight next week. Asian Star FY revenue +73% to $570M, profit +47% to $13M. Debswana appoints Andrew Maatla Motsomi managing director. Rapaport to host annual Las Vegas breakfast and Social Responsibility Conference on Sunday, June 12. Register at rapaport.com/jck22. Take the Rapaport survey here.

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: Market stable despite concerns about high inflation, interest rates and slumping stock market. Dealers preparing for Las Vegas shows with hope the fairs will boost sentiment for second half 2022. High-quality stones in short supply, especially in categories popular among US consumers (1 ct., G-I, SI). Strong appetite for ovals, cushions and radiants. Estate jewelry segment strong.

Belgium: Polished trading seasonally quiet. Inventory down in certain items amid decline in Russian rough supply. Top-quality fancy shapes scarce. Premiums on secondary rough market high ahead of next week’s De Beers sight (June 6 to 10). Strong dollar squeezing profitability for companies that sell in euros.

Israel: Dealers struggling to find the necessary diamonds for orders at profitable prices. Some traveling to India in search of merchandise but returning disappointed. Shortages supporting price levels but demand cautious in key retail markets. Exhibitors expecting positive JCK Las Vegas show. Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE) sign tariff agreement. Israel Diamond Exchange holds Blue and White Fair on trading floor.

India: Sentiment improving as dealers prepare for Las Vegas. US orders steady; China expected to reopen following Covid-19 shutdown. Good demand for 1.50 ct. and larger, I-M, SI2-I1 diamonds. Smaller stones stable. 0.20 to 0.70 ct. moving well. Polished production levels low due to summer vacation, weak Chinese demand and lack of Russian rough.

Hong Kong: Wholesale and retail jewelers more optimistic as local economy resumes activity after pandemic restrictions. Industry enjoying surge in weddings. Sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuables up 14% in April. Solid demand for 1 ct., D-I, VS2-SI2 diamonds. Mainland China slow; consumer spending still cautious despite easing of lockdown measures. 
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mr martin rapaportMartin Rapaport at JCK Las Vegas
Jun 23, 2022
Lower rough supply due to the Russia situation may be a “blessing” given the pressures on retail spending,
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