rapaport

Market Comment

February 1, 2024

News: Indian export market slow. Good demand for round, 0.30 ct., D-G, VS2-SI1 diamonds, with some price increases. US jewelers focusing on Valentine’s Day; NRF predicts record $6.4B jewelry spending. Luxury retailers report strong 2023 jewelry and watch sales: Swatch Group (Harry Winston, Omega) +6% to $8.7B, LVMH (Tiffany, Bulgari) +3% to $11.8B. De Beers Jan. sales -19% YOY to $370M but higher than Dec.’s $137M as miner reduces rough prices and India resumes imports. Uncertainty over implementation of G7 Russia sanctions. Kiran Gems reopens Mumbai office following move to Surat bourse. Recording of Martin Rapaport webinar available at rapaport.com/webinar.

Fancies: Fancy demand weaker than rounds, with sellers more flexible on prices. Ovals, Emerald and Pear are most popular. Weak sales of Hearts, Princess and square Cushions. Longer Ovals, Pears, Radiants and Cushions bringing higher prices. Goods with medium and short ratios harder to sell. Supply shortages supporting prices of Marquise. Well-cut stones in short supply and 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: 

Good attendance at Centurion Jewelry Show and AGTA GemFair Tucson. Retailers concentrating on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). Economy uncertain as Federal Reserve holds interest rates, noting inflation has eased but remains high. US consumer confidence +6% in January, Conference Board reports.

Belgium: 

Shortages of 0.30 ct. diamonds. Difficult to find nice goods. Some demand for 5 ct. and larger, F-H, SI diamonds; D-VVS harder to sell.

Israel: 

Trading quiet amid sluggish US demand and low Indian supply. Industry continuing to shrink. Most activity is in larger diamonds, but dealers concerned about impact of G7 sanctions on this section of the market. No overseas buyers due to ongoing war with Hamas.

India: 

Industry cautious. Domestic demand supporting market for round, 0.30 to 0.70ct., D-G, VS-SI diamonds, but exports are slow. Buyers unwilling to make purchases at prices that are higher than before. Manufacturers struggling to profit from rough, forcing some to fill factories with synthetics. Melee selling but in short supply.

Hong Kong: 

Low activity as industry prepares for Chinese New Year (Feb. 10). Suppliers and jewelry manufacturers closing for vacation. Local market slow; mainland quiet as consumers have completed festival shopping. Gold outperforming diamonds as consumers have tighter budgets and seek investments in safe havens.

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