Sentiment weak as Brexit vote adds to economic uncertainty and Hong Kong show disappoints. Stock markets volatile, currencies weak, gold rallies (+4% to $1,320/oz) as investors seek assets with store of value. Polished trading slow with Chinese buyers pushing for deeper discounts and U.S. dealers heading for July vacation. Rough markets stable with 3 to 6 grainers softening at auctions. De Beers sells $560M in June, 1H sales +12% to estimated $3B. Lucara’s 1,109 ct. ‘Lesedi la Rona’ rough diamond does not sell with high bid $61M ($55,000/ct.) at Sotheby’s London. U.S. May jewelry retail sales +4% to $6.3B. AWDC reelects Stéphane Fischler president.
Fancies: Ovals and Pears doing well. Cushions supported by specific orders. Emeralds selling with improving large-stone demand. 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: Polished trading stable with dealers filling orders before two-week July vacation period. Steady demand for 1 to 3 ct., G-I, VS2-SI2 diamonds, while larger stones remain weak. Ovals and pears supporting fancies market. Dealers cautious about cushions. Retail sales stable but jewelers concerned about skittish consumers in election year. Diamond Dealers Club of New York will be closed from July 1 to 11.
Belgium: Polished trading slow at quiet Hong Kong show and Antwerp market sluggish. Wholesalers avoiding large inventory purchases with concern prices will soften in coming months. Focus on commercial qualities with steady demand for 1 ct. G-J, VS-SI diamonds. Weak demand for higher-end D-F, IF-VVS1 goods with buyers pushing for higher discounts. Rough trading stable but slightly slower than last month.
Israel: Market slow as dealers return from Hong Kong show. Overall concern about lagging demand as lower prices fail to stimulate sales. Steady Chinese demand for 0.50 ct., D-J, IF-SI2 and 1 ct., D-H, IF-VS2 RapSpec A2 diamonds. U.S. demand steady but seasonally slow. Rough demand stable with lower prices at auctions for 3 to 6 grainer rough that yield under the carat polished.
India: Sentiment weak with dealers disappointed at Hong Kong show. Chinese demand cautious and fewer buyers in Mumbai ahead of U.S. vacation period. Demand is order-specific with buyers avoiding inventory purchases and pushing for higher discounts. Stable demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS-SI diamonds. 3 ct. steady in SI’s, weak in other areas. Manufacturing levels steady with new rough coming to factories after June sight. Rough trading stable with good demand from smaller manufacturers.
Hong Kong: June show small and quiet. Retailers went to assess market trends and push for bargains. Suppliers willing to compromise on price had relatively busy show. Good demand for fancy colors and select fancy shapes. Rounds under pressure with demand focused on SI’s and shortage of larger-size 5 ct.+, SI’s. Jewelry retailers adjusting to lower consumer spending.