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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jul 5, 2018 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond market slows as US wholesalers take vacation. Positive sentiment continues after polished prices strengthen in second quarter. 1 ct. RAPI +0.8% in June. Manufacturers upholding discounts as they defend high rough prices. Depreciation of currencies in China and India reducing budgets of local dealers and causing shift in demand to lower qualities. Diamantaires aligning their inventory with retailers’ needs and mining supply, resulting in slightly lower stock levels than this time last year. Improving demand for 0.70 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ after extended weak period. Belgium June rough imports -13% to $864M. Botswana’s Okavango joins GIA M2M tracking program.

Fancies: Fancy shapes mixed, with curves better than squares. Ovals hot, followed by Emeralds, Pears and Cushions. Marquises and Princesses weak. Oversizes selling well. Steady demand for fine-quality 6 to 10 ct. Ovals, Pears and Emeralds, with prices firming for 3 to 5 ct. due to shortages. US supporting market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Far East demand improving as consumers seek fancy shapes at better prices. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Dealer market quiet, with many businesses closed for two weeks around Independence Day. Stable engagement and bridal sales during summer wedding season. Some fashion jewelry promotions over July 4 holiday.

Belgium: Slight lull in activity. Strong demand for 3X, no-fluorescence goods, and VG also getting firm prices. F-H, VS-SI dossiers selling well. European jewelers looking for fancy shapes. Rough trading stable, but dealers and manufacturers concerned about tight margins between rough and polished.

Israel: Polished trading seasonally slow as US clients take vacation. Far East demand steady, with good orders for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., G-H, VS-SI RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Dealers expecting market improvement from September Hong Kong show. High rough prices limiting manufacturers’ profit. Bourse president Yoram Dvash urges Gujarat state minister to reduce India’s 5% polished import duty to encourage India-Israel diamond trade.

India: Sentiment weaker amid bankruptcy rumors. Local buyers cautious due to firm polished prices and recent rupee depreciation against the dollar (-2.4% in June to $1 = INR 68.80). Fewer foreign buyers in Mumbai, owing to US summer vacation. Good demand for 0.30 to 3 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Manufacturing steady after $575 million De Beers June sight.

Hong Kong: Market activity down after June show. Buyers limited by higher polished prices and weaker yuan currency (-3.5% in June to $1 = CNY 6.64). Solid demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Retailers optimistic after rise in 1H tourist arrivals. Concern about potential impact of US-China trade dispute.
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