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Rapaport Market Report

August 18, 2016

Aug 18, 2016 11:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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Diamond markets quiet and conservative. Buyers selective and price sensitive. Dealers hoping Sept. Hong Kong show will stimulate stronger 4Q polished trading. Chinese consumer confidence stable but Hong Kong luxury continues to slide. Polished suppliers under pressure with rising inventory and tight liquidity. Israel’s FIBI bank raises collateral requirements for diamond loans. Steady demand for 1 to 2.99 ct., D-I, SI1-I2 but VS+ softening. Stars and melee weak with sluggish demand and concerns about synthetics. Titan 1Q sales +4% to $416M, profit -16% to $19M. Gem Diamonds 1H revenue -8% to $109M, loss of $16M vs. profit of $26M. Botswana 2Q rough exports +16% to $980M.

Markets slow with some weakening of prices. Ovals and Pears doing well. Cushions supported by specific orders. Emeralds selling with improving large-stone demand. Princess and Hearts slow. Top quality fine-cut fancy shapes OK but buyers are extremely picky. Overall fancy shape prices relatively soft. U.S. demand supporting market for commercial-quality fancies, especially for sizes under 1 ct. Far East fancy demand weak. Buyers are very selective and insisting on excellent-shape proportions. Significant price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly-cut fancies illiquid and very hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Slight trading improvement but polished buyers in summer mode.Demand selectivewith lower prices spurring buyer interest. Retail sales uneven with growth driven by higher average prices rather than increased volume. Independents assessing inventory requirements for holiday season. Consumer sentiment stable.

Belgium: Market quiet with bourse services closed until August 22.

Israel: Very little activity with the Israel Diamond Exchange closed for summer vacation until August 28. Industry financing under scrutiny after First International Bank of Israel (FIBI) tightened collateral requirements on diamond industry loans.

India: Slow trading and weak sentiment. Dealers preparing for Hong Kong show. Polished inventory levels high as manufacturing continues but demand slowed in the past few months. Steady demand for commercial-quality, SI2-I2 diamonds. Other areas weak. Slow domestic demand for stars and melee. Rough market stable with lower volumes traded and Russian goods selling at steady premiums during monthly ALROSA sale.

Hong Kong:
Polished trading sluggish with some improvement as dealers prepare for the September show. Smaller suppliers discounting to maintain liquidity. Difficult for medium-size companies to compete. Buyers selective and price sensitive. Jewelry retailers struggling with high gold prices and weak consumer demand.
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