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Rapaport Market Report

May 26, 2016 9:38 AM   By Rapaport News
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Rounds: Vegas expectations mixed amid weak consumer demand. Polished markets slow with some traders very selectively building stock for JCK. Rough markets weak with oversupply concerns following De Beers $630M of sales in cycle 4 (May). India April polished exports +9% to $1.8B, rough imports +37% to $1.9B. Dominion 1Q sales -5% to $178M, Ekati production +34% to 1M cts. Signet 1Q sales +3% to $1.6B, profit +24% to $147M. Tiffany 1Q Sales -7% to $891M, profit -17% to $87.5M. ALROSA’s Andrey Polyakov named president of World Diamond Council.

Ovals doing well but cushions have cooled off. Emeralds selling. 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:
Market quiet, demand weak but stable. 3 ct. and larger soft, except SI category. All eyes on JCK Las Vegas (June 3-6) but expectations mixed as consumer demand low. Traders stocking up for show and seeking return of goods sent out on memo. Demand from Asia sluggish with retailers showing mixed performances.

Market stable with good demand for 1-2 ct. and weak demand for 3 ct. + sizes. Faint fluorescent hard to sell with buyers seeking 3X, non-fluorescent diamonds. Good demand from U.S., U.K., Italy but Far East and India quiet. Fair demand for pear and emerald, VS-SI. Fancy colors weak.

Trading very slow with low expectations for Vegas. Weak sentiment on trading floor as reports point to latest diamond bankruptcy with debts to trade. International Rough Diamond Week at Israel Diamond Exchange quiet with little activity besides presence of De Beers, ALROSA and Rio Tinto. 3-4.99 ct. weak except excellent makes with rock-bottom demand for D-F, IF-VVS2. Diamonds good enough for top retail brands selling well.

India: Market slow with many manufacturers closed for school vacation or working at reduced production levels. Seasonal lull expected to last till mid-June. Weak demand from Far East and Middle East. Focus on Vegas as traders prepare for show. Fears that $630M De Beers sight could mean goods flood the market.

Hong Kong: Market slow with weak demand from China. Disappointing sales from May Golden Week and Mother’s Day. Reports of companies reducing costs. 3-5 cts. slow, 1-1.30 cts. moving better. Demand for pears and hearts from mainland China stronger than other fancy shapes. Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair (June 23-26) expected to be relatively small and attract mostly local exhibitors.
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