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Rapaport Market Brief - September 8, 2022

Sep 8, 2022 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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US market optimistic as holiday season approaches. Sales not expected to match 2021, but jewelers seeing steady interest as consumer confidence improves. Memo houses selling well. Luxury jewelry doing better than commercial qualities. International dealers and manufacturers cautious. China weak amid new Covid-19 restrictions. Ongoing quarantine for travelers is limiting Far East trade. Polished prices declining as inventory climbs due to drop in sales. Rough market slow; expectations of lower prices at Sep. 19 sight. Natural Diamond Council unveils “To Treasure, Now and Forever” campaign, names actress Lily James new ambassador. IGI adds cut grade to fancy-shape grading reports.

Fancies: Market has cooled for 0.30 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. Supply shortages of well-cut fancies supporting prices. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI goods stable. Oval is leading shape, followed by Radiant, Emerald, Pear, Cushion and Marquise. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Growing interest in fancy-shape engagement rings. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Demand strong ahead of holidays. Vendors anticipate positive but not record-breaking season. Suppliers enjoying strong sell-through rate on memo deals, especially for 3 ct. and larger, G-I, SI1-SI2 diamonds in both round and fancy shapes. Inventory difficult to replace. Consumer confidence increased in August as inflation concerns eased, according to The Conference Board.

Belgium: Dealers uncertain about market direction. Downturns in other trading centers reducing sentiment among Antwerp diamantaires. Demand for 2.50 ct. and larger, better-quality diamonds improving. Rough premiums down on secondary market.

Israel: Activity quiet in diamond exchange as global demand remains weak. Dealers trying to complete US holiday sales ahead of Rosh Hashanah holiday (Sep. 26-27). August polished exports down 21% year on year to $271.9 million; rough imports down 32% to $160.6 million.

India: Business slow. Market for low-clarity, uncertified goods weaker. US supporting trade amid sluggish demand from China. Suppliers accumulating larger inventories as orders decline. Polished production below capacity as rough prices remain high. Some optimism that activity will pick up in second half of September if Far East recovers.

Hong Kong: Sentiment improving as mainland demand starts to revive. Steady interest in 1 to 2 ct. F-H, VS2-SI2, 3X diamonds. Local Hong Kong retail weak due to lack of tourism. Jewelers believe easing quarantine rules will boost sector. Sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts jumped 28% year on year to HKD 4.08 billion ($519.4 million) in July as labor market rallied. Few dealers traveling to Jewellery & Gem World show in Singapore (Sep. 27-30).
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