Rounds: Holiday season begins with optimism as stock markets hit record high on Black Friday. Foot traffic flat, average spend -3% to $289 over Thanksgiving weekend, reports NRF. Millennial shift to online purchases continues with Cyber Monday sales +13% to $3.5B, according to Adobe Digital Insights. Polished market stable with buying opportunities in India due to rupee liquidity crisis. Shrenuj nears deal to ease $450M debt as De Beers sight suspended. Christie’s HK sells $79M (80% by lot). Tiffany 3Q sales +1% to $949M, profit +5% to $95M. Lukoil 3Q Grib diamond sales +33% to $62M. Alan Bronstein elected president of Natural Color Diamond Association.
Fancies: Fancy-shape market stable. Curved fancy shapes improving. Princess, 0.50 to 1 ct. waking up for U.S. holiday season. Large sizes getting some interest, but buyers are extremely picky. U.S. demand supporting market for small-to-medium size, commercial-quality fancies (H-J, SI2-I2). Far East fancy demand weak. 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: Positive sentiment as stock market rally and strong dollar lift expectations for holiday season. Jewelers expect sales bump in coming weeks. Tiffany 3Q signals strong fashion jewelry segment, stable engagement and wedding market but weakness in high-end statement pieces. Slight increase in last-minute orders with steady demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds.
Belgium: Trading quiet with steady low-volume orders for the holiday season. Some dealers buying bargains (“Metzios”) amid Indian liquidity crisis. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.90 ct., D-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds with reports that 3X SI’s in short supply. Stable U.S. demand for caraters. Rough trading quiet ahead of next week’s De Beers sight and ALROSA sale.
Israel: Polished trading stable with steady orders from U.S. independent retailers. Demand from larger chains has slowed. Little inventory buying as jewelers focus on selling during holiday season. Dealers working with lower inventory as businesses streamline activity due to tight profit margins. Steady demand for 1 ct. G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Fancy colors and curved fancy shapes stable.
India: Polished trading quiet with dealers very cautious after rupee currency cancellation. Domestic demand slow. Opportunistic foreign buyers looking for bargains during liquidity crunch. Larger manufacturers with legitimate invoicing relatively unaffected with steady U.S. orders. Rough demand stable since manufacturers returned from Diwali break.
Hong Kong: Steady traffic at Jewellery Manufacturers Association Show (Nov. 24-27) but diamond sales weak. Chinese buyers cautious after yuan currency depreciation (Nov. -2% to 6.88/$) with some buying to avoid further currency loss. Indian dealers absent due to liquidity crisis. Rising concern about synthetics in local trade, consumers less aware.