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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Jan 20, 2022 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond market hot as De Beers raises rough prices an estimated 15% for small goods, 5% to 12% for 3-grainer and larger. High premiums on secondary market due to scarcities. Polished demand strong, but suppliers waiting for better prices. Shortage of 3X stones above 0.70 ct. fueling price expectations. US retail driving growth. Signet Jewelers Nov.-Dec. sales +30% to $2.4B. Richemont jewelry maisons 3Q revenue +41% to $3.8B. Forecast mixed for Feb. 1 Chinese New Year. Petra Diamonds 1H sales +49% to $265M, prices +16%. India Dec. polished exports +3% to $1.8B, rough imports +19% to $2.3B. Tiffany & Co. executive Marc Jacheet to replace Stephen Lussier as CEO of De Beers brands.

Fancies: Market robust. Good demand across all sizes. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing scarcities. 0.30 to 0.99 ct. improving in VS and better clarities. Fancies below 0.30 ct. showing significant gains since Diwali. Supply shortages supporting prices. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Growing interest in fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. 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: Positive post-holiday retail sales continue to stimulate polished trading. Dealers anticipate further price increases from Indian manufacturers. Shortage of 3X stones in most desirable categories. Some shifting from rounds to ovals since the latter are available at more affordable prices. Good demand for 2 ct. and larger, G-I, VS-SI diamonds.

Belgium: Dealers upbeat as momentum continues after excellent festive season. Strong competition for goods, but supply scarce. 1 to 3 ct., G-H, SI (3X, eye-clean) diamonds are hot. Melee market also strong. Rough trading robust during De Beers sight week. Fewer boxes than before on secondary market.

Israel: Slow traffic in the bourse due to spread of Covid-19 Omicron variant. Lifting of travel restrictions is enabling many to boost ties with US customers. Dealers optimistic amid good US orders and memo calls. Chinese demand lower than usual for period ahead of lunar festival. Steady interest in 1 to 1.99 ct., G-J, VS-SI items.

India: US market driving solid trading. Stable orders for 1 ct. and larger rounds in G-H, SI1-SI2 categories. Hong Kong demand softer despite Chinese New Year. Small goods in short supply; dealers struggling to replenish stock after running down inventories over the holidays. Pears, marquises and ovals moving well. Local jewelry strong during wedding season.

Hong Kong: Wholesale sentiment mixed amid rise in local Omicron cases. Government extending restrictions, resulting in retail slowdown as consumers stay home. Chinese demand weaker than expected for Lunar New Year shopping period. Jewelry manufacturers closing for the festival. Mainland store sales of gold, silver and jewelry down slightly in December but up 30% for full year, official figures show.
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