Black Friday sales (-10%) signal shifting consumer behavior. Millennials buying more on mobile as comScore reports online Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday sales +24% to $5.3B. Branded bridal strong with U.S. Oct. jewelry sales +2% to $4.7B. Polished prices stable but shortages constraining holiday orders for select goods. Nov. 1ct. RAPI +0.7%. Rough market under pressure ahead of another very small De Beers sight next week. Rough auction demand firming. Lukoil’s 9M Grib diamond sales reach $122M. Christie’s HK sells $97M (80% by lot). Luk Fook 1H revenue -8% to $899M, profit -43% to $60M. De Beers sells final stake in Kimberley mines to Petra, Ekapa for $7.2M.
Fancies: Demand soft. Pears, Ovals and Cushions steady, Princess, Hearts slow. Prices for curves improving slightly. U.S. demand supporting market for commercial-quality fancies, especially for sizes under 1-carat. Far East fancy demand weak. Buyers are very selective and insisting on excellent-shape proportions. Significant price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly-cut fancies illiquid and very hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.
United States: New York trading is slower than expected before Christmas and there is a sense that jewelers have what they need for the holiday. Suppliers are uncertain about how the market is moving and are offering competitive discounts to reduce inventory. Good demand for round, 1ct., G-J, SI diamonds and slight improvement in melee goods. Emerald and ovals best fancy shapes. Jewelers optimistic despite reports of disappointing general Thanksgiving sales. Branded bridal jewelry is strong with some improvement in fashion jewelry.
Belgium: Sentiment improves slightly with steady U.S. and European holiday orders. Trading still lower than previous years. Prices firm for better qualities RapSpec A2+ (3X, none). Suppliers lowering prices on difficult-to-sell lower quality diamonds to raise cash. Liquidity tight with banks cautious about diamond lending. Rough trading slow but auctions gaining firmer prices than before as sightholder seek alternatives to sight goods.
Israel: Sentiment improves slightly with better demand and tight supply of RapSpec A2+ (3X, none) diamonds. Dealers looking for goods in anticipation of new orders and further shortages in coming weeks. Large-stone suppliers report firming of prices due to slight increase in demand. Fancy shapes stable with good demand for pears and cushions. Rough market cautious ahead of next week’s De Beers sight.
India: Polished trading improves after Diwali with locals and overseas buyers in the market. Shortages supporting prices, especially for 0.30-0.50ct., SI’s. Buyers are more aggressive as they’re concerned about further scarcities since manufacturing remains low. Rough trading quiet and manufacturers not prepared to cut unprofitable rough. Low expectations for next week’s De Beers sight. Better value at auctions with Rio Tinto fetching firm prices at inaugural Bharat Diamond Bourse sale.
Hong Kong: Polished trading okay with steady demand for GIA-dossiers and carat sizes. Trading better-than-expected at last week’s small Hong Kong Jewellery Manufacturers Association show. Jewelry retail profits under pressure and stores are offering discounts on promotional goods for Christmas and upcoming Chinese New Year season. Chow Tai Fook noted weakened consumer demand for jewelry with lower average selling prices.