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Rapaport Market Comment - October 27, 2022

Oct 27, 2022 10:50 AM   By Rapaport News
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Trading slow as India shuts for Diwali. Polished prices continue to decline amid weak demand and rising inventory. High-end doing well. De Beers research shows brands gaining market share, boosted by ethical assurances. Insight Report estimates 2021 global rough sales +47% to $16.4B, polished demand +27% to $28B, diamond-jewelry demand +27% to $87B. De Beers 3Q production +4% to 9.6M cts., sales volume +17% to 9.1M cts., increases buyback allowance for 1 ct.+ rough to 20% due to tough market. Petra Diamonds FY1Q revenue -9% to $104M. Swarovski, Breitling, Zales expand lab-grown offerings. De Beers names actress Lupita Nyong’o as its first global ambassador.

Fancies: Fashion driving demand for elongated Ovals, Emeralds and Radiants. Goods with medium and short ratios are weak and declining in value. Slow market for 0.30 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. 1.25 ct. and larger, F-J, VS-SI categories stable. Supply shortages of well-cut fancies supporting prices. Oval is leading shape, followed by Radiant, Emerald, Pear, Cushion and Marquise. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Mixed sentiment. Retail jewelers more optimistic than dealers for the season. Steady sales conversion of memo goods. Fine-cut fancy shapes selling well. Nice rounds, 0.70 to 0.90 ct. (3X, none) difficult to find. Melee market slightly slower but prices firm. Jewelry manufacturers on deadline for holiday collections.

Belgium: Market quiet with most Antwerp-based Indian dealers taking off for Diwali. Uncertainty fueled by expectations of further price declines. Melee goods maintaining steady prices; certified polished weak. Rough trading slow as sightholders welcome easing of De Beers buyback terms.

Israel: Cautious atmosphere after Jewish holidays. Dealers afraid to do business while prices continue to decline; keeping close watch on inventory to avoid being stuck with goods they can’t sell. Smaller stones below 0.18 ct. selling better than 1 ct. and larger. Suppliers to high end doing well.

India: Market closed for two-to-three weeks due to Diwali. Larger Mumbai businesses on vacation until October 31; Surat factories to return around November 15. Focus now on retail, with hope that strong gold demand for the festival will spill over to diamonds. Manufacturers raised discounts to boost sales before the break. Rough demand weak amid rising polished inventory.

Hong Kong: Gradual improvement in local wholesale and retail segments after easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Recovery restrained by lack of tourists, particularly from mainland China. Trading still lower than usual for this time of year. Stable demand for 0.30 to 0.80 ct., D-H, VVS-SI1, despite recent price declines. China retail lagging, as consumer sentiment diminished by ongoing pandemic controls. 
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