Market Comment

March 7, 2024

News: US requiring self-declaration for diamond imports as ban on Russian goods expands to those manufactured in third countries. Rapaport requesting clarification from OFAC on several points as Rapaport US Diamond Protocol receives support from more than 1,500 trade members. Hong Kong 2023 polished imports -1% to $14.6B. Hong Kong shows disappointing, with slow sales and weak Chinese presence. Good overall market for round, 1 ct., D-H, SI diamonds; weaker market for VVS. 1 ct. RAPI -0.7% in Feb. Okavango March sales -79% YOY to $22.5M after company increased some reserve prices and did not offer large specials. RJC names Dave Meleski as chairman.

Fancies: High inventories of Ovals and Pears due to slow sales and imbalance between supply and demand after Indian manufacturers shifted from rounds to fancies last year. Cutters now returning to rounds. Sellers are flexible on prices. Downtrend continues. Weakest size is 0.70 ct. category. Sales of Hearts, Princesses and square Cushions low. Longer Ovals, Pears, Radiants and Cushions bringing higher prices. Goods with medium and short ratios harder to sell. Supply shortages supporting prices for Marquises. Well-cut stones hard to find and commanding premiums. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid.

United States: 

Market sluggish. Jewelers not buying for inventory. RapSpec A3+ goods hard to replace. Dealers resisting Indian sellers’ higher prices. Melee steady. Some memo demand for 5 ct. and larger diamonds. US dealers who attended Hong Kong shows saw weak sales. Trade waiting to see how new sanctions on Russian diamonds will impact shipments and availability of merchandise.


Sentiment weak following slow Hong Kong fairs. Few Chinese buyers in attendance; some demand for 5 ct. and larger diamonds. Dealers hopeful orders will improve.


Dealers returned from Hong Kong shows disappointed. Small number of Chinese buyers were present but insisted on very low prices. Israel polished exports for February down 40% year on year at $386.9 million; rough imports up 26% at $126.2 million.


Market slow amid weak overseas demand. Hong Kong shows fell short of expectations. Domestic jewelry orders decreasing as wedding season nears end. Manufacturers have increased polished production but want to reduce inventories of fancy shapes. Steady interest in 1 to 2.99 ct., D-K, SI1-SI2, RapSpec A3+ goods. Many concerned about how G7 sanctions will work.

Hong Kong: 

Retailers seeing seasonal lull following Chinese New Year. Weak attendance and sales at Hong Kong shows reflect decline in mainland economy. Fewer Chinese diamond buyers were present, and those who came sought low prices. Some demand for round, 0.50 to 3 ct., D-J, VS-SI goods, but suppliers struggling to sell without reducing prices. Jewelers reluctant to acquire inventory due to uncertainty.


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