rapaport

Market Comment

May 16, 2024

News: Anglo American to sell off or IPO De Beers; BHP’s $43B second offer for Anglo rejected. Diamond market slow. India April polished exports -17% YOY to $1.2B, rough imports -19% YOY to $1.2B. Round prices falling in IF-VS1; SIs rising. GemGenève weak, with reduced sales and attendance. Focus shifts to Las Vegas. De Beers cuts Lightbox prices by up to 40%. Geneva Magnificent Jewels auctions: Christie’s raises $54M, selling pear modified brilliant, 202.18 ct., fancy-intense-yellow SI1 for $6.7M ($33K/ct.); Sotheby’s totals $34M, including round-cornered square brilliant, 37.61 ct., E, IF diamond for $4.3M ($114K/ct.). Brilliant Earth 1Q sales flat at $97M.

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. 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: 

Stable demand for 3 ct. and larger, I-M, VS-SI2 goods in rounds and fancies. Marquises, emeralds and ovals selling. Melee improving, especially in I-J, VS-SI qualities. Synthetics prices falling. Industry focusing on JCK Las Vegas.

Belgium: 

Trading quiet. Demand and supply both limited. Buyers highly selective. Bread-and-butter items hard to sell. Exceptional fancy-color stones moving well. Many dealers not attending Las Vegas shows.

Israel: 

Short week due to Independence Day. Muted sentiment amid slow overseas orders.  April polished exports down 1% year on year at $140M.

India: 

Domestic demand supporting market; overseas orders sluggish. Low expectations for upcoming JCK Las Vegas show. Steady interest in round, 1 ct., D-J, VS-I1, 3X diamonds with no brown, green or milky (BGM) or fluorescence. VVS slow. Fancies weak. Melee moving in SI-I1 clarities.

Hong Kong: 

Weak mainland demand negatively impacting wholesale trade. Chinese consumers choosing gold rather than diamonds. Low-budget jewelry selling during Mother’s Day season.

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