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Rapaport Market Report

Jul 27, 2017 11:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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India IIJS show opens with steady traffic but mixed expectations for domestic jewelry demand in light of demonetization and GST regulations. NY shows lift US dealer sentiment. Rough premiums soften during De Beers sight. US jewelry sector shrinks at slower pace as 235 businesses closed in 2Q vs. 460 last year. De Beers 1H revenue -4% to $3.1B, underlying earnings -10% to $341M. Alrosa 1H production +14% to 19.3M cts., sales volume +12% to 24.3M cts., average price -14% to $100/ct. Letšeng average price +20% to $1,779/ct. Petra Diamonds FY’17 sales +11% to $477M. LVMH 2016 jewelry and watch sales +14% to $2.2B. India’s June polished exports +7% to $2B, rough imports +48% to $1.8B.

Fancies: Ovals best-selling fancy shape in US market, with shortage of 3 ct. stones. Cushions gaining popularity. Steady demand for Pears in the Far East. Emeralds improving and selling better than Princesses in larger 2 ct.+ sizes. Some demand for big fancy shapes such as Radiant, 3 ct.+, D-I, SI1-SI2 elongated stones, but buyers extremely picky. Large price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States:
Wholesale trading improves with dealers attending the New York fairs. Antique show busy, JA quiet. Rising interest in large stones above 5 cts. Buyers focused on clean goods with no BGM — brownish, greenish or milkiness. Retail sales stable, supported by engagement-ring demand during summer wedding season.

Quiet market with many dealers in vacation mode ahead of three-week break. Bourses closed from July 31 to August 18. Mixed sentiment with some dealers optimistic the market will improve in September. Steady demand for 1 ct., F-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Pears, ovals and emeralds doing well in fancy shapes. Polished inventory levels high but prices holding steady.

Israel: Polished trading slow. Companies focused on selling through overseas offices as August vacation approaches. Bourse services limited during vacation period (August 6 to 18). Buyers selective and concentrating on items they can move quickly. Locals seeing some opportunity in rough market as Indian buying cools, but profitability still a concern.

India: Sentiment improves as IIJS show begins. Concern that new goods and services tax (GST) and rising gold prices will limit gold jewelry sales at the show. Steady demand for dossiers. Manufacturers maintaining polished production levels. Rough demand slightly reduced during De Beers sight.

Hong Kong:
Positive mood as dealers note stronger sales than last year. Rising expectations for September show as retail sales continue to improve. Steady demand for 1 ct., F-G, VS-SI RapSpec A2+ diamonds. IF-VVS slow. Rising demand for fancy-shape diamonds as Chinese market improves.
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