rapaport

Market Comment

December 7, 2023

News: US market doing okay, with good demand for select sizes and qualities. Prices for better-quality round, 0.50 to 1 ct., F-I, VS2 to SI2+ goods stabilizing, with shortages of oversizes. RAPI for 1 ct. +0.8% in Nov., 0.50 ct. +1.2%. Overall market may be starting to bottom out due to reduced supply, but there is danger of future oversupply as India ends voluntary ban on rough imports on Dec. 15. G7 announces strengthening of Russian sanctions, which later in 2024 will include “Russian Source” diamonds cut elsewhere. Signet notes bridal recovery after 3Q sales -12% to $1.4B. Muted New York Magnificent Jewels auctions see totals of $38.4M at Sotheby’s, $38.1M at Christie’s.

Fancies: Fancy market slowing. Weak demand for Hearts and Cushions. Longer Ovals, Pears, Radiants and Cushions bringing higher prices than shorter stones. Elongated fancy shapes selling well. Goods with medium and short ratios harder to sell. Marquise prices holding up following drop in availability. 0.30 ct. seeing good sales. Orders down for 0.70 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. Well-cut stones in short supply. 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.

United States: 

Cautious optimism for holidays following steady Thanksgiving weekend and gradual improvement in mid-market demand. Industry expects sales to be decent but lower than last year. Stable demand for round, 1 to 3 ct., F-I, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. Large, lower-quality, uncertified diamonds moving. Memo dominating market, but some jewelers buying for inventory.

Belgium: 

European Union ban on Russian diamonds looking more likely as G7 announces stronger sanctions. Rough market quiet with Indian import pause still in effect through December 15.

Israel: 

Limited trading at bourse amid ongoing war. Government says conflict’s impact on industry has eased as dealers have found logistical solutions. Exporters watching US holiday season carefully and are satisfied with sales so far. American goods becoming harder to replace.

India: 

Sentiment rising as domestic and overseas orders increase. US holiday sales supporting trade. Prices in Mumbai higher than in other trading centers such as Hong Kong. Steady improvement across all diamond categories, with nice SIs selling to American market. Indian jewelry demand boosting small-stone segment. Industry approaching end of rough-import freeze with caution, aiming to avoid oversupply as buying resumes.

Hong Kong: 

Market improving ahead of holidays and Chinese New Year. Strong consumer attendance at Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) show, but focus was on lower price points. Shoppers across region shifting to less-expensive items amid ongoing economic weakness. Synthetics making inroads but proving less popular in mainland China due to focus on long-term value.

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