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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jun 9, 2022 10:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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News: Las Vegas shows open amid hopes they will boost sentiment for 2H. US demand steady. China improving. Concerns about pending shortages continue as supply splits between Russian and non-Russian goods. Cutters finding ways to buy Alrosa rough to serve centers open to Russian-origin polished. De Beers raises prices of small rough amid strong demand, scarcities, and high premiums on secondary market. Signet Jewelers 1Q sales +9% to $1.8B, loss of $84M vs. profit of $138M. Christie’s NY achieves $48.9M (95% by lot); 103.49 ct., D-flawless Light of Africa diamond sells for $20.1M ($194,067/ct.). GIA moving to digital-only reports by 2025 and planning to close Antwerp lab on July 31. Rapaport to host annual Las Vegas breakfast and Social Responsibility Conference on Sunday, June 12. Register at Take the Rapaport survey here.

Fancies: Market stable. 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. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: All eyes on Las Vegas shows. Sentiment mixed due to economic uncertainty, high inflation and stock market volatility. Steady orders for 0.70 to 1.50 ct., G-J, SI-I1 diamonds. Dealers struggling to replace sold inventory at profitable prices. Jewelers seeing solid engagement-ring sales amid 2022 wedding boom.

Belgium: Local trading quiet; many traveled with their best goods to Las Vegas fairs. 1 to 2 ct., G-H, VS-SI selling well. Suppliers holding prices firm ahead of expected shortages in third quarter. Dealers buying for specific orders rather than bulk as jewelers limit inventory purchases. Scarcities making for buoyant rough sales during De Beers sight. Steady premiums on secondary market.

Israel: Activity slow. Many dealers in Las Vegas. Trade focusing on bread-and-butter US goods. Solid demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Inventory levels stable and higher than a year ago. Rough market strong as cutters bid for non-Russian goods.

India: Business steady. Some improvement in Chinese market, but overall focus is on US. Dealers waiting to see how demand and prices are at Las Vegas shows. Melee segment strong and seeing firm prices. Fancy shapes selling well up to 2 ct. in oval, pear and marquise. Rough trading robust.

Hong Kong: Wholesale and retail activity positive, though market outlook remains conservative. Good demand for 1 ct., D-I, VS2-SI2, 3X items. Pears, emeralds and ovals in 1 ct., D-K, VVS-SI1 categories also moving well. Jewelers focusing on bridal, expecting busy summer wedding season after recent lockdowns. China improving but still cautious amid consumer uncertainty. 
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