Far East markets waking up with increase in activity as dealers prepare for Hong Kong show. Far East demand for larger 3 to 8 ct. stones getting more attention with D-F, IF-VVS goods becoming more interesting after price declines in recent months. U.S. market uncertain with some action in New York during DDC’s India Week. Signet 2Q sales -3% to $1.4B, profit +6% to $82M as private equity firm Leonard Green invests $625M. Tiffany 2Q sales -6% to $932M, profit +1% to $106M. Michael Hill FY revenue +10% to $421M, profit -29% to $15M. Dominion 2Q sales -24% to $160M. Swiss watch exports -14% to $1.7B in July. India July polished exports +1% to $1.7B, rough imports +27% to $1.4B.
Fancies: Markets slow. Large 5 ct.-plus fine-quality goods getting more interest. Ovals and Pears steady. 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: Improved activity during India Week in New YorkDiamond Dealers Club (August 22 to 25). Overall polished market still cautious. Dealers looking for buying opportunities and better margins shift attention to larger diamonds. Melee weak. Retail jewelry sales unpredictable. Sentiment weak with regular reports of store closures and cautious consumer spending. Market expected to improve in post-election holiday season.
Belgium: Market slowly opening up asdealers return from vacation. Trading expected to be stable until Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair (September 13 to 19). Steady demand for 0.50 to 0.80 ct., D-I, VVS1+ diamonds. Rough trading stable following ALROSA sale (August 15 to 19) with Russian goods selling at mid-single-digit premiums on the secondary market.
Israel: Trading quiet with the Israel Diamond Exchange closed until August 28.
India: Polished trading improving ahead of Hong Kong show with dealers focused on VS-SI goods. Steady U.S. and Chinese demand with a number of foreign buyers in Mumbai looking for bargains. Steady demand for 1 ct. D-I, SI-I2 diamonds. Fancy shapes improving. Rough demand stable ahead of next week’s De Beers sight. Manufacturing expected to remain steady until November Diwali break.
Hong Kong: Trading improving after long, slow summer. China and other Asian markets steady. Local Hong Kong demand slow. Dealers holding large inventory and focused on sourcing the right goods for the September Hong Kong show. Stable demand for 1 ct., D-I, SI1-I2. Rising demand for 3 ct. and larger stones, especially fancy shapes. Chinese retail sector much better than local Hong Kong retail.