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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jul 12, 2018 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished trading seasonally quiet. Asian demand driving activity during US vacation period. Chinese buyers shifting to lower colors amid yuan currency devaluation (-4% since June 1 to CNY 6.67/$1). Weaker yuan will also impact tourist jewelry shopping. Dossiers selling well, with good orders for 0.50 ct., D-M, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Polished suppliers maintaining steady prices after rough-price hikes. Miners limiting 2018 supply after global 2017 KP rough production +29% to $15.9B, volume +19% to 151M cts., average price +8% to $105/ct. Alrosa 1H sales estimated +8% to $2.7B. Petra Diamonds sells 76% stake in Kimberley operations to Ekapa Mining for $22M.

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: Trading quiet, with dealers on vacation. Activity expected to remain slow through July and August. Buyers looking for bargains over summer, but suppliers maintaining firm prices. Retailers insisting on memo rather than buying. Jewelry sales steady, with seasonal bridal demand during ongoing wedding period.

Belgium: Stable market, with good orders for 0.30 to 0.50 ct. and 1 ct., F-H, VVS-SI dossiers. RapSpec A2, 3X, no-florescence are fastest sellers. Below 0.30 ct. weakening. Larger fancy shapes with high color and nice cut for European high end doing well. Dealers cautious about buying too much inventory before August vacation.

Israel: Trading subdued due to US vacation. Solid Chinese demand, with shift toward J-L-color goods. 0.30 and 1 ct., G-L, VVS2-SI2 moving well, along with 0.50 ct. diamonds of all colors and clarities. Availability of 1 ct. rising. Manufacturers concerned about high rough prices and tight profit margins.

India: Sentiment down somewhat as rupee currency devaluation (-7% since Jan. 1 to INR 68.8/$1) affects local transactions. Buyers cautious due to higher polished prices and weaker exchange rate. Suppliers maintaining prices with slightly lower polished production. Steady interest in 1 ct., J-L, SI1-I2 diamonds. Rise in availability of 0.50 ct., D-H, IF-VS stones.

Hong Kong: Trading relatively quiet since June show. Chinese buyers restrained amid yuan devaluation. Shift to smaller and cheaper goods, with stable demand for lower colors. Jewelers holding relatively large inventory after strong 1H buying. Retailers raising promotional activity to boost summer sales.
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