rapaport

Market Comment

October 19, 2023

News: Industry mourns Israel bourse members and their families who were killed in Hamas attacks and ongoing war. Global trading quiet; prices continue to fall. US market preparing for holiday season. India voluntarily freezes rough imports from Oct. 15. G7 discussing options for Russian diamond ban. Rapaport to release US Diamond Protocol next week in opposition to WDC G7 Protocol. Ukraine government agency removes India’s SRK from “war sponsor” list. WD Lab Grown files for bankruptcy, estimates $44.8M in liabilities. Petra rough-tender prices -17% from previous sale. Rio Tinto 3Q production -37% to 757,000 cts. Hong Kong jeweler TSL projects $6.4M 1H loss and warns about weak China market.

Fancies: Fancy market slowing. Prices falling, but less sharply than for rounds. Longer Ovals, Pears, Radiants and Cushions bringing higher prices than shorter stones. Goods with medium and short ratios weak. Prices of square Cushions falling amid low demand and high inventories. Marquise prices holding up following drop in supply. 0.30 ct. doing well. Orders down for 0.70 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. VS-SI losing strength, except in 1.20 to 1.49 ct. Well-cut stones seeing 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 hard to sell.

United States: 

Retailers preparing for holiday season, which usually starts over Thanksgiving weekend. Commercial melee prices stable for VS and SI but declining for collection (D-F, VVS) qualities. Matching-layout services seeing gradual uptick in business as more retailers request finished jewelry sets. Memo sales improving, with dealers satisfied that shipments are translating into purchases.

Belgium: 

Rough market very quiet as Indians reduce buying due to import halt and festive season. Polished market slow amid buyer caution. AWDC appoints Isidore Mörsel as president. Trade preparing for G7 ban on Russian rough.

Israel: 

Activity slow as industry focuses on war and shifts to working from home due to family responsibilities. Many worried about relatives serving in the army. Overseas dealers unlikely to arrive during next few weeks. Companies looking to operate internationally due to drop in domestic business.

India: 

Two-month voluntary ban on rough imports began Oct. 15. Overseas sales weak. Domestic market steady amid festive season and wedding preparation. Polished production low. Factories closing for extended break during Diwali holiday period.

Hong Kong: 

Consumers favoring gold over diamonds. Market very quiet despite expectations that demand would pick up after September show. More dealers and buyers showing interest in synthetic diamonds. Rebound in tourism reigniting retail business.

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