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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

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Rapaport News • 07-07-2021

Polished trading seasonally slow due to US summer vacations. Market optimistic for holiday season. Steady demand, shortages and high rough costs supporting prices. 1 ct. RAPI +2.7% in June.

Polished trading seasonally slow due to US summer vacations. Market optimistic for holiday season. Steady demand, shortages and high rough costs supporting prices. 1 ct. RAPI +2.7% in June. Cutters under pressure to raise production but concerned about rough valuations ahead of De Beers July 12 sight. Kimberley Process reports 2020 global rough production -32% to $9.24B, volume -23% to 107.1M cts., average price -12% to $86/ct. Belgium May polished exports +161% to $555M, rough imports +362% to $664M. Titan Company 1Q revenue +117%. Birks Group FY sales -16% to $116M. Alrosa launches provenance program using nanotechnology for diamond tracking.

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: New York trading slower due to long July 4 weekend and traditional summer lull. Fewer memo calls for single stones, in line with seasonal expectations. Buyers selective amid high price levels. Supply shortages and good retail sales driving dealer optimism. Steady orders for 1 to 2 ct., G-J, VS-I1 diamonds.

Belgium: Stable demand across most categories. Some international buyers in Antwerp again. Dealers frustrated by delays at Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and by general supply scarcities. Concerns emerging over trades ability to maintain price levels during seasonal downturn. Rough market robust ahead of next weeks De Beers and Alrosa sales.

Israel: Positive sentiment even as US orders taper off during summer break. Dealers looking for goods but struggling to find the right items at attractive prices. Solid demand for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Fancy shapes continue to climb. Mixed mood in the rough sector; stable orders filling shortages, but high prices prompting restraint.

India: Sentiment improving as strong US and Chinese demand continues. Steady interest in round, 1 ct., G-J, VS2-I1 diamonds. Fancy shapes moving well. Surat manufacturing levels below capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions and high rough costs. Traders seeing scarcity of polished. GIA labs still experiencing delays due to coronavirus measures and increased grading submissions.

Hong Kong: Local Covid-19 situation getting better. Hopes high that China border will reopen at end of July and enable tourist shoppers to return. Mainland jewelers implementing promotions to stimulate sales during seasonally quiet period. Polished dealers not budging on discounts since goods are in short supply. Solid market for 0.30 to 0.80, D-J, VS-SI, 3X diamonds.

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