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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Aug 9, 2018 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Mumbai IIJS show opens to busy jewelry section, due to pent-up demand after India’s 2Q gold jewelry sales -8% to 147.9 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council. Diamond halls quiet, with larger companies displaying finished pieces rather than loose stones. Global markets slow and still in vacation mode. Some improvement in US, with retailers focused on custom bridal pieces during summer wedding season. Samuels Jewelers files Chapter 11, with liabilities of $100M to $500M. Titan 1Q revenue +9% to $652M, profit +38% to $48M. Letšeng 2Q average price +33% to $2,742/ct. Karowe 2Q average price -39% to $782/ct. René Kamm resigns as MCH Group CEO after Swatch exits Baselworld.

Fancies: Far East demand improving as Chinese consumers seek Pears and Princesses at better prices. US and European demand mixed. Ovals and Cushions are best sellers, followed by Emeralds and Pears. 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. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Dealers more active than before vacation. Positive sentiment, with buyers focused on specific orders. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Retail sales stable as consumer confidence edges up in July, according to the Conference Board. Larger independents and established brands driving growth.

Belgium: Market very quiet, with bourses officially closed and most dealers on vacation until August 20. Optimism for good trading after the break.

Israel: Very little going on, with bourse closed until August 19. Dealers focused on preparing inventory for the September Hong Kong show.

India:
Local traders concentrating on IIJS show, which started Thursday (August 9). Sentiment mixed amid further bankruptcy rumors. Few foreign buyers in the market, with companies preferring to wait until the Hong Kong fair. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-H, SIs. Rough prices firm, but activity low due to Antwerp dealers being on vacation.

Hong Kong: Polished trading slightly improved. Rising expectations for Hong Kong show, as jewelers have delayed purchases due to seasonally slow summer and weak currency. Dealers shifting to lower-color and -clarity diamonds, reflecting changing consumer trends. Steady demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., G-H, VS1-SI2, 3VG+ diamonds. Retailers eyeing October 1 Golden Week season for next sales boost.
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