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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jun 16, 2022 10:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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News: Sentiment positive following Las Vegas shows. Fairs had busy visitor traffic; jewelers with good liquidity after profitable 2021 bought vigorously ahead of holiday season. US jewelry sales +22% in May, says Mastercard. High end robust. Consumers purchasing diamonds as hedge against inflation and stock market slump. Many concerned about rising cost of living as Fed hikes interest rates 0.75%. Some factories receiving Alrosa goods despite ban; industry uncertain how this will impact market. Rough trading slows after De Beers sight. Chow Tai Fook cautious about short-term China economy as Apr./May sales -13%. Blue Nile to go public with $873M valuation. LVMH invests in lab-grown producer Lusix via $90M funding round.

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: Dealers left Las Vegas with optimism for second half of 2022. Suppliers and memo houses with large inventory had strong JCK show. Big stones and high-end jewelry did well. Retail sentiment positive despite inflation concerns; mid- to high-income households refreshing their wardrobes for special occasions and travel after pandemic. Bridal doing solid business during summer wedding season.

Belgium: Polished demand steady, but top-quality goods proving difficult to find as inventory levels drop. Suppliers trying to maintain stable prices ahead of anticipated shortages due to Russian sanctions. Discounts rising amid seasonal slowdown and cautious economic outlook. Rough trade quieter after last week’s De Beers sight; premiums down on secondary market.

Israel: Bourse quiet; many dealers away at Las Vegas shows. Buyers returning disappointed, as desirable pieces were expensive. 2 to 3 ct., G-J, VS-SI fancies and rounds selling well. Bread-and-butter goods below 1 ct. difficult to move and seeing weak prices. Diamond exchange to host World Diamond Congress during International Diamond Week from March 27 to 30, 2023.

India: Polished trading slow. Dealers cautious due to stock market decline, rupee depreciation to all-time low of INR 78 per $1, and drop in available inventory. Factories operating at reduced capacity because of sanctions on Russian rough. Good business with US, Dubai and Israeli buyers. China slower than anticipated.

Hong Kong: Sentiment improving as wholesale and retail activity regains tempo after recent restrictions. Government stimulus boosting spending. Good demand for 0.30 to 0.80 ct., G-H, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. 1 ct. and larger categories slightly weaker. Mainland China starting to recover from Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns. E-commerce and big brands doing better than smaller independent jewelers. 
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