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Market Comments 10/29/2015

Oct 29, 2015 6:00 PM  
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GIA invalidates 1,042 grading reports after computer hackers penetrate system and alter data. RapNet suspends 10 members that GIA says were involved. Reduced Indian production before Diwali holiday (Nov. 7-13) creating some shortages. Trading activity improving as aggressive dealers try to buy select goods at deep discounts. Some sellers holding out and getting good prices from buyers with firm orders. Rough under continued pressure with reports of De Beers discounting. Sight system falling apart as 100% deferrals allowed for Nov. Petra Diamonds 1Q production +1% to 842,796 cts., prices -9% at Oct. sale. Sally Morrison to head marketing at Diamond Producers Association.

Fancies: Demand soft. Pears, Ovals and Cushions steady, Princess, Hearts slow. Prices for curves improving slightly. U.S. demand supporting market for commercial-quality fancies, especially for sizes under 1-carat. Far East fancy demand weak. Buyers are very selective and insisting on excellent-shape proportions. Significant price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly-cut fancies illiquid and very hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Steady trading with buyers looking for opportunities. Suppliers able to sell at low profits. Dealers filling specific orders can get good prices. Good demand for 1ct., G-J, SI diamonds. Very little inventory buying ahead of holiday season. Rising expectations as retail jewelers increase promotional activity. De Beers Forevermark launches “The One” U.S. holiday campaign.

Belgium: Activity improving with dealers filling specific orders for the holiday season. U.S. demand good, Europe just okay, China weak. Dealers looking for goods before Indian businesses close for Diwali (Nov 8-13). Good demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS-SI diamonds, and some improvement for sizes (0.30-0.90ct.). Rough trading slow with few fresh goods on the market. Stronger demand at rough auctions and tenders than at sights.

Hong Kong: Slight improvements with some limited inventory buying at deeply discounted prices. Most activity is for specific orders with some stones getting good prices. Dealers trying to be positive but still uncertain about prices and demand after weak Golden Week jewelry sales. Some demand for fancy shape and fancy color diamonds.

India: Polished trading improving with U.S., Israeli and Chinese buyers looking for opportunities before Mumbai shuts for Diwali (Nov 7-13). Local buyers also active as steady gold demand (+5% in 3Q, according to GFMS survey) raises expectations for Diwali. Good demand for 0.30-1ct., D-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ (3X, none) diamonds. Very limited rough buying as manufacturers maintain low polished production and some factories closing early for Diwali. GIA hacking scandal adding to uncertainty with leadership meeting set to discuss implications.

Israel: Slight improvement in polished trading as dealers return from New York DDC week. U.S. demand is driving the Israeli market, while Chinese demand improving. Dealers looking for bargains from cash-strapped suppliers in India before Diwali. Local dealers holding cash while larger firms buying goods at attractive prices. Limited supply of top-quality, RapSpec A2+ (3X, none) diamonds due to lack of production.
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