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Rapaport Weekly Market Report 12/03/2010

Dec 3, 2010 1:00 PM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... This article is an excerpt from a market report that is sent to RapNet members on a weekly basis. To subscribe, go to www.rapnet.com or contact your local Rapaport office.

Global Markets

United States: Traders are on the whole positive about the Christmas season so far, but it appears strength reported in jewelry sales occurred in pockets where high-end luxury and online sales buoyed totals. There is still some concern about the holiday season regarding its role as an indicator of conditions in the new year, as smaller retailers have indicated they have not been as busy as they hoped to be by now. Wholesalers report shortages in the wholesale market of 0.50-carat, SI, H-J goods, as well as for 1.00-carat, SI and off-size stones.

Belgium: The polished market is stable, with trading starting to wind down ahead of the Christmas break. There are some expectations for last-minute sales in the two weeks leading up to the holiday so sellers are therefore holding firm on prices. There are reports of shortages in cheap, low-quality polished goods. Demand and prices of rough remain firm. The volatility of the dollar against the euro is causing some concern amongst traders.

Israel: Polished trading in the bourse is stable, with demand and prices holding steady. There is a sustainable flow of goods to the U.S. and anticipation of further sales before the Christmas holiday. Manufacturers are shifting their focus toward the Far East as preparations begin for the Chinese New Year occurring in February. Manufacturers are concerned that another increase in rough prices may be looming.

India: Domestic demand for polished has improved, fueled by the ongoing wedding season, which runs through May. Price resistance from buyers has eased slightly due to supply shortages in the market, which are expected to continue as manufacturing has slowed since the Diwali break. There is a notable presence of overseas buyers in the market, but overall polished sales to the export market remain stable. There is strong demand for stars and melee goods in SI-lower-piqué clarities, which continue to be the hot category at the moment. There is good demand for 1.00-carat stones in all categories, while 2.00-carat, VS+, J+ polished is also strong, with shortages reported in H- colors. Demand for 2.00-carat, SI stones is improving. Activity in the rough market is picking up as Surat manufacturers return from the Diwali break, despite continued high prices.

China: Wholesale trading activity has improved with the approach of the Gregorian New Year and subsequently, the Chinese New Year in February. Buyers are looking for goods to store as a value hedge against volatility in the U.S. dollar, resulting in a rise in demand for larger goods, particularly 2.00-carat stones. Still, demand remains focused on traditional Chinese goods ranging from 0.30- to 1.10-carats, VS, D-H stones, Gemological Institute of America (GIA)-certified diamonds in Triple EX, Double EX and EX-cut grades with faint or no fluorescence.

Hong Kong: The market is stable, with sustainable selling activity continuing. There remains price resistance from buyers in Hong Kong, as they appear to be lagging behind the manufacturing centers in absorbing the effects of recent high rough prices. There is good demand for VS-SI clarities, while demand for VVS stones, particularly the collection goods, has softened due to high prices. It appears that buyers are looking for nice VS stones as an alternative to spending extra on the VVS stones. Buyers are starting to prepare for the Chinese New Year season.

The writer can be contacted at avi@diamonds.net.

Disclaimer

©Copyright 2010 by Martin Rapaport. All rights reserved. Rapaport USA Inc., Suite 100 133 E. Warm Springs Rd., Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. +1.702.893.9400. This Rapaport Weekly Market Report is provided solely for your personal reading pleasure. Nothing published by The Rapaport Group of Companies and contained in this report should be deemed to be considered personalized industry or market advice. Any investment or purchase decisions should only be made after obtaining expert advice. All opinions and estimates contained in this report constitute Rapaport`s considered judgment as of the date of this report, are subject to change without notice and are provided in good faith but without legal responsibility. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property rights.
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, Avi Krawitz, Belgium, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, United States
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