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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

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Rapaport News • 06-10-2021

Trade optimistic for US holiday season, but buyers cautious due to high price levels. 1 ct. RAPI -0.5% in Sep. Polished inventory rising, with large volume of 0.30 to 0.50 ct. goods. Six-week backlog at GIA Mumbai lab. Rough market firm during sight week amid shortfall in De Beers supply. De Beers holds first GemFair auction of rough from Sierra Leone artisanal miners. India Aug. polished exports +69% to $2.1B, rough imports +143% to $1.2B. Far East wholesale trading quiet during Golden Week; Chinese luxury consumers focused on domestic buying due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Rapaport resumes Dubai auctions, offering 55,000 cts. of polished diamonds at the Oct. 10-14 sale.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices firming across most sizes and categories amid shortages and growing fancy demand. Retailers offering wider product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers seeing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Cushions closing price gap with Rounds. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent cuts popular and commanding premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Momentum slowed after good summer trading. Dealers expect market improvement ahead of holiday season. Steady demand for 1.50 to 3 ct., H-J, I1-I2, 3X diamonds. High-end jewelry wholesalers filling orders amid optimistic holiday outlook among luxury retailers. Studs and tennis bracelets selling well.

Belgium: Business sluggish for this time of year. Traders gradually returning after religious holidays. Some overseas buyers in the market. Suppliers struggling to source larger stones, especially in fancy shapes. Rough demand steady during De Beers sight.

Israel: Dealers returned from Jewish holiday break. Steady US orders compensating for weak Chinese market. Good demand for 1 ct. and larger, G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. September polished exports declined 42% to $197.5 million as early Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot holidays reduced the number of working days compared to last year.

India: Trading slower, with some caution over price levels for dossiers below 1 ct. Market quiet for suppliers to Far East due to China Golden Week. US demand supporting the market. Good movement in round, 1 ct., D-I, VS-SI stones; J-M slower. Cutters concerned about profit margins amid high rough prices. Polished production at high capacity before Nov. 4 Diwali break as manufacturers plan for pre-Christmas sales.

Hong Kong: Wholesale market stable as Covid-19 infection rate improves across greater China. Focus on retail during Golden Week. Major jewelers concentrating on mainland China operations as lack of tourist traffic limiting Hong Kong sales. Large-scale diamond buyers reluctant to make purchases since goods are expensive. Steady demand for 1 ct., D-I, VS2-SI2 categories, with 2 to 5 ct. stones gaining traction as holidays approach.

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