News: Diamond market quiet due to US seasonal lull and gradual China recovery. Dealers hoping March Hong Kong show will signal release of pent-up Chinese demand. Pressure mounting to strengthen sanctions on Russian diamonds and include traceability requirements. Small polished stable, but manufacturing margins squeezed after De Beers raised prices for corresponding rough by average 10% at Feb. sight. De Beers 2022 revenue +18% to $6.6B, earnings +60% to $552M, average price +35% to $197/ct., price index +23%. Rio Tinto 2022 diamond sales +63% to $816M, earnings +53% to $151M. Dubai bolstering its position as rough trading center: 2022 rough imports +7% to $10.7B, exports +7% $13.9B.
Fancies: Fashion driving demand for elongated Ovals, Emeralds and Radiants. Goods with medium and short ratios are weak and declining in value. Slow market for 0.30 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. 1.25 ct. and larger, F-J, VS-SI categories stable. Supply shortages of well-cut fancies supporting prices. Oval is leading shape, followed by Radiant, Emerald, Pear, Cushion and Marquise. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.