Rounds: Diamond trading very quiet during Passover holiday. Rising expectations for May Day retail holiday as China’s gold imports increase. U.S. demand steady but jewelers avoiding unnecessary inventory and taking goods on memo. U.S. 2015 retail diamond jewelry demand +5% to $39B, global consumption -2% to $79B, according to De Beers insight report. Rough trading stabilizing as manufacturing profit margins tighten. Petra Diamonds 3Q sales +25% to $121M, production +26% to 995,905 cts. Christie’s NY sells $57M (80% by lot) with 15.99 ct. Burmese ruby sold for $14.2M ($3.6M/ct.). Swiss watch March exports -16% to $1.4B. AWDC highlights reduced Antwerp bank financing in 2015 annual report.
Fancies: Ovals doing well and cushions have cooled off. Emeralds selling. Princess and Hearts slow. Top quality fine-cut fancy shapes OK but buyers are extremely picky. Overall fancy shape prices relatively soft. U.S. demand supporting market for commercial-quality fancies, especially for sizes under 1 ct. 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 quiet with many dealers on vacation during Passover holiday. Suppliers reducing prices on unwanted excess inventory but holding firm on top-quality RapSpec A2 goods that are in high demand. Steady demand for bread-and-butter 0.30 to 1.99 ct. diamonds. Melee and large stones above 3 ct. weak.
Belgium: Seasonally slow period with dealers concerned about weak demand. Dealers focused on filling orders with very little buying for inventory. Steady demand for pointer sizes and 1 to 2 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds. Suppliers holding prices firm for better-quality RapSpec A2 diamonds. Rough trading slowing as manufacturing profit margins tighten.
Israel: Most dealers away and Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) services closed during Passover holiday (April 24 to 28).
India: Trading slow as expected during April-May. Jewelry retailers focused on gold sales ahead of Akshaya Tritiya festival on May 9. Government sets up panel to implement 1% excise tax on jewelry industry. Steady demand for GIA-dossiers and 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds. Manufacturing levels stabilizing.
Hong Kong: Polished trading stable. Steady demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., D-J, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. Big stone demand weak. Jewelry retail sentiment cautious ahead of May Day holiday. Higher expectations for China sales.