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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Nov 18, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Strong jewelry sales growth spurring diamond trading. Rising expectations for Thanksgiving weekend despite earlier start to holiday shopping. Savvy jewelers focused on enhancing consumer experience rather than price. US orders driving market for 1 to 2 ct. polished, but 0.30 to 0.50 ct. softening as inventory rises. High rough costs making manufacturers cautious about reducing polished prices. De Beers raises prices on cheaper rough. Alrosa ups 2022 production plan to 33M-34M cts. Richemont 1H jewelry revenue +69% to $4.4B. Brilliant Earth 3Q sales +33% to $95M, profit -51% to $4M. Sotheby’s Geneva sells $44M (86% by lot). Zimbabwe elected Kimberley Process chair for 2023.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices high and stable, supported by supply shortages. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing scarcities. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers report increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Radiants closing price gap with Rounds. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Steady demand in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Mood optimistic as festive season gains steam. Strong melee demand. Brisk movement in 1.20 to 1.30 ct., G-I, SI2-I2 categories. Dealers struggling to replace sold goods. Local suppliers seeing increased competition from overseas companies tapping the US market. October retail sales stronger than last year; shortages prompting consumers to start shopping earlier.

Belgium: Positive sentiment as US and European jewelers seek holiday merchandise. Strong demand for 0.50 to 1 ct. commercial goods and for 1 to 1.50 ct. diamonds in higher colors and clarities. Rough market hot but expensive. Return of lockdowns in some European nations has fostered uncertainty.

Israel: US-focused suppliers busy ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. Trading upbeat as dealers capitalize on India’s seasonal shutdown. Commercial goods under 0.30 carats are popular. Inventory scarce; sellers only taking orders if they have the items in stock. Polished exports for October more than tripled year on year to $572 million.

India: Activity gradually picking up following Diwali break. Surat manufacturers extending factory hiatus until November 27 due to high cost of rough relative to polished. US and Chinese demand supporting trade as holidays approach. Stable interest in VS-SI diamonds destined for American market. Buyers sticking to their budgets rather than accepting sellers’ elevated prices.

Hong Kong: Steady wholesale trading in lead-up to peak shopping season. Good movement in 1 ct., D-I, VS2-SI2, 3X categories. Sellers holding firm on prices. Possible reopening of Chinese border raising hopes for market improvement. Local retail slow due to lack of tourists. Chinese jewelry manufacturers operating at high production rates. Solid mainland consumer demand, especially at lower price points.
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