rapaport

Market Comment

August 10, 2023

News: Steady jewelry trading at Mumbai IIJS show lifts sentiment amid weak global demand. Positive outlook for domestic Indian market ahead of Diwali and wedding season. Local diamond sector slow, with manufacturing limited and prices falling. High end supporting US trade as middle-income spending remains low. Retailers buying on memo. Lucara finds 1,080 ct. rough at Karowe; 2Q revenue -21% to $41M, profit -60% to $5M. Brilliant Earth 2Q sales +1% to $110M, profit -67% to $1M. May US polished imports +18% to $2.6B in first YOY increase since Sept. 2022. IGI names Tehmasp Printer CEO as Roland Lorie steps down. Martin Rapaport to lead Sierra Leone trade mission from Oct. 15 to 20. Register here.

Fancies: Fancy-shape market slower than before but better than rounds. Prices dropping but not as fast as rounds. Longer Ovals, Pears, Radiants and Cushions bringing higher prices than shorter stones. Goods with medium and short ratios weak. Marquises improving. 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: 

High-end retail still relatively strong. Wealthy shoppers buying top-quality, 3-carat and larger ovals and pears. Nice fancy shapes in short supply. Fancy-yellow diamonds moving well. Jewelers prefer memo, but high conversion rates mean dealers are making profits. Mid-market weaker due to inflation, rise in interest rates, and competition from synthetics. Larger suppliers have weathered downturn better than small wholesalers.

Belgium: 

Market remains closed during summer vacation. Rough sector slow ahead of next week’s De Beers sight (August 14-18).

Israel: 

Bourses quiet during summer break. Sentiment low. Dealers absent, as they have little business to handle. July polished exports fell 31% to $203.6 million; rough imports down 46% to $106 million.

India: 

Busy IIJS show signals strong domestic jewelry market. Good gold sales as trade prepares for wedding season. Mostly Indian companies attending, but some overseas visitors present. Natural diamonds slow amid weak US and Chinese demand and competition from lab-grown sector. Pears and ovals supporting activity; rounds still sluggish.

Hong Kong: 

Local market seasonally slow. Return of travel has reduced spending on luxury consumer goods. Mainland quiet during summer. Dealers report positive sentiment at Mumbai IIJS show. Hopes are that September Hong Kong exhibition will boost business.

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