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Rapaport Market Brief - September 15, 2022

Sep 15, 2022 11:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond market uncertain as prices continue decline amid sluggish trading. Program goods, including nice SIs and oversizes, doing better than lower qualities. Discretionary spending squeezed as Aug. US inflation +8.3% from a year ago and stock market plunges. Rising expectations for holiday season with pent-up demand for in-store shopping. Mastercard projects Nov.-Dec. US jewelry sales +2.2%; Deloitte forecasts overall retail +4% to 6%. US demand supporting the trade. Rough trading cautious with reduced auction demand before next week’s De Beers sight. Petra Diamonds FY sales +44% to $585M, profit -55% to $88M. New Watch & Jewellery Initiative for sustainability gains nine members.

Fancies: Market has cooled for 0.30 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. Supply shortages of well-cut fancies supporting prices. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI goods stable. Oval is leading shape, followed by Radiant, Emerald, Pear, Cushion and Marquise. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Growing interest in fancy-shape engagement rings. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Positive sentiment with optimistic outlook for holiday season. Jewelers seeing strong demand for branded pieces and classic categories such as tennis bracelets, pendants, and bridal. Polished trading improving. New York dealers filling orders for rounds in 1 ct. and larger, and fancies above 2 ct. Top-quality, 3X goods with no fluorescence are bestsellers as demand has narrowed and buyers have become more selective.

Belgium: Polished trading uncertain amid slowdown in demand. Buyers pushing for higher discounts, sensing suppliers need to raise liquidity and move inventory. US orders steady, with good demand for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds. Rough market cautious ahead of next week’s De Beers sight. Buzz about Antwerp’s Facets 2022 conference, which took place Sep. 14 to 15.

Israel: Trading cautious as prices continue decline. Buyers anticipating lower prices and prepared to wait before placing bulk orders. Steady US sales not enough to compensate for weakness in other markets. Slight slowdown in 1 ct. rounds. Fancies above 2 ct. improving. Bidders making lower offers at rough auctions.

India: Market sluggish amid weak Far East demand. Liquidity concerns as sales have dropped. Some optimism that Jewellery & Gem World show in Singapore will kick-start trading. Slow movement in 0.30 to 0.50 ct. categories. Larger sizes better. Rising buyer interest in fancy shapes. Polished production below capacity; inventory high and rough supply expensive.

Hong Kong: Trading slow but sentiment better than during lockdowns in China. Optimism that Covid-19 restrictions will ease further, enabling reduced quarantine periods. Few buyers and dealers traveling to Singapore for jewelry show due to isolation requirements on return. Jewelers have reduced inventory buying ahead of Oct. 1 Golden Week.
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