rapaport

Market Comment

June 8, 2023

News: Diamond trading very slow. Dealers cautious as prices continue to decline. Jewelers have curbed buying and lowered their short-term expectations due to economic uncertainty and synthetic-diamond competition. Manufacturers trying to diminish inventory by scaling back production, since demand is hard to stimulate in current market. Mixed sentiment at Las Vegas shows. Positive Luxury and Couture fairs reflect strong high end, but middle America under pressure from rising cost of living. Signet 1Q sales -9% to $1.7B. Christie’s NY sells $62M (97% by value); pear, 126.76 ct., D, IF diamond goes for $13.6M ($108K/ct.). Rough market weak; De Beers has reduced prices of 1 ct.+ rough by 5% to 10% at June sight. Rapaport partners with GIA and Okavango Diamond Company to list “Green Star” responsibly sourced stones on RapNet. 

Fancies: Fancy-shape market slower than before but better than rounds. Elongated Ovals, Emeralds and Radiants are strongest items. Goods with medium and short ratios weak. Demand for Cushions declining. 0.30 ct. doing well. Orders low for 0.70 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. VS-SI losing strength, except in 1.20 to 1.49 ct. Well-cut stones seeing supply shortages. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: 

Las Vegas fairs present good networking opportunities but slow diamond trading. Jewelry busier than diamond pavilion. Solid activity at Luxury, Couture, and Antique Jewelry & Watch shows; JCK Las Vegas quieter. Fancy shapes and colors are pockets of strength in overall weak polished sector. Memo market doing well. Dealers maintaining cautious outlook for second half.

Belgium: 

Polished trading down for this time of year. Dealers buying for specific orders rather than bulk as jewelers limit inventory purchases. Rough market sluggish during sight week. Success of high-end retailers offering some hope for wholesalers. Concerns that European Central Bank will raise interest rates amid slow economic growth.

Israel: 

Dealers returning from Vegas shows disappointed. Buyers still not enticed by high discounts. Israel polished exports down 11% year on year to $1.71 billion in first five months of 2023; May exports up due to Las Vegas events. Mild optimism that situation will improve in coming months.

India: 

Global downturn impacting local sentiment. Sluggish interest in 0.50 to 3 ct. diamonds. Inventories continue to rise. Polished production down as manufacturers try to reduce stockpiles. Suppliers struggling to sell old inventory. Fancies outperforming rounds. Exporters seeing competition from other trading centers. Domestic market steady, with lab-grown gaining popularity.

Hong Kong: 

Focus on lower price points. Fancies gaining momentum; pears, ovals and emeralds selling well in 1 to 2 ct. sizes. Steady demand for round, 0.30 to 1.50 ct., D-J, VS-SI diamonds. China and Hong Kong still feeling effects of Covid-19 shutdowns. Retailers preparing summer promotions and willing to sacrifice profit margins to clinch revenues.

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