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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

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Rapaport News • 09-06-2021

Diamond market upbeat as orders stream in; dealers frustrated with sourcing difficulties. Prices firm due to supply shortages and steady US and Chinese demand. Rough trading strong as De Beers raises prices by estimated 5% for goods above 2 ct. Major jewelers gaining market share with robust e-commerce growth.

Signet Jewelers 1Q sales +98% to $1.7B, profit of $138M vs. loss of $197M Chow Tai Fook FY sales +24% to $9B, profit +107% to $796M. Christies NY sells $27M (87% by lot), with pear, 54.03 ct., D, IF Chrysler Diamond necklace going for $5.1M ($93,837/ct.). Sothebys NY achieves $38M (93% by lot) as 73.11 ct., fancy vivid yellow, VS2 Sienna Star garners $3.4M ($46,615/ct.).

Fancies: Market robust. Upturn in prices for 0.30 to 0.99 ct. goods of various shapes. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Shortages of 1.25 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VVS2-SI2 fancies. Retailers offering wider product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes at more affordable prices than rounds. Dealers seeing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Excellent cuts in demand and selling at premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Positive sentiment amid strong orders. Jewelers looking for merchandise but having difficulty finding the right stones at reasonable prices. Luxury houses seeking top-quality F-H, VVS-VS melee for fashion and bridal collections. A lot of items out on memo with good sell-through rate, particularly for 1.50 to 4 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds. Fancy vivid and intense yellows above 2.50 ct. also moving well.

Belgium: Dealers upbeat and selling at firm prices due to scarcities. Solid demand for 0.70 to 1.10 ct., F-H, SI1 diamonds. Strong interest in commercial-quality fancy shapes. Pears, ovals and cushions in G-J, SI range are best performers. Rough market robust, with fewer items available and high prices in secondary market.

Israel: Stable polished demand but little supply. Dealers struggling to maintain added value amid shortages and with manufacturers increasingly selling directly to retailers. Memo houses doing well and seeing steady US orders. Pears, cushions and ovals in VS-SI1 categories are best-moving fancy shapes. Princess-cut, 0.50 ct., F-H, VS2 diamonds continue to improve.

India: Sentiment up as Covid-19 cases decline. Solid demand for certified goods; orders coming in from US, China and Hong Kong. Steady sales of round, 0.30 to 2 ct., D-K, VVS-SI diamonds. Manufacturing levels rising, but grading backlog persists, resulting in limited supply. Smaller stones volatile. Positive market for ovals.

Hong Kong: Wholesale trading healthy but seasonally slow. Chinese demand supporting business. Large jewelers ordering goods destined for mainland stores. Stable appetite for round, 1 to 1.50 ct., D-H, VS2-SI2, 3X items. Fancy shapes moving well in 1 ct., D-H, VVS-VS ranges. Locals expecting further recovery as municipality gets virus outbreak under control.

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