Positive sentiment spreads to trading centers after Hong Kong show demonstrates good dealer demand for dossiers. Selective buyers creating opportunities for suppliers with the best goods. Large volume of new polished expected to fill shortages of better-quality RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Big-stone market improving ahead of Basel show. Rough market stable. ALROSA 2016 revenue +41% to $5.5B, profit quadruples to $2.3B. Grib Diamonds 2016 sales +82% to $336M. Gem Diamonds 2016 revenue -24% to $190M, loss of $144M vs. profit of $77M the previous year. U.S. Jan. polished imports flat at $1.8B, polished exports -1% at $1.3B.
Fancies: Fancy-shape demand for Pears good in the Far East with Ovals overtaking Pears as strongest shape in the U.S. Shortages of fine-quality, large Pears and Ovals. Cushions stable. Emeralds selling better than Princesses. Some demand for big fancy shapes, but buyers extremely picky. Improving demand for Radiant, 3.01 to 9.99 ct., D-I, SI1-SI2 elongated stones. Large 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 with steady demand and buyers looking for deals, particularly on GIA-dossiers. Suppliers holding prices firm to protect tight manufacturing margins. Snowstorm in New York closes offices. Blizzard also affecting retail sales in the Northeast.
Belgium: Steady activity raises the mood in Antwerp. Buyers filling specific orders and careful not to build up excessive inventory. Far East retailers replacing inventory with goods at lower price points. Stable demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-K, VS-SI and for 1 to 2 ct., G-J, VS2-I1 diamonds. Large stones firming due to shortages, particularly 3 ct. and larger, D-F, VS-SI goods.
Israel: Trading continues to improve. Selective buyers looking for larger volumes in a narrower range of categories. Chinese competing with U.S. buyers for SIs. Good trading in 1 to 1.50 ct., D-J, SI2-I1 diamonds. Buyers seeking unique pieces with good demand for rare fancy color diamonds – blues, pinks, reds, greens and fancy orange.
India: Dealers more optimistic than before the Hong Kong show. U.S. demand steady and Chinese demand continues to improve. SIs moving well. Good demand for GIA-dossiers. Suppliers hope large volume of polished production will fill current shortages of better-quality, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Large manufacturers operating close to full capacity. Rough trading stable.
Hong Kong: Positive mood continues as dealers follow up on leads from the Hong Kong show. Suppliers selling larger volumes of lower-priced goods. Good demand for 0.30 to 0.70 ct., and 1 to 1.50 ct., D-L, VS2-SI2 diamonds. Independent retailers note rising demand for color gemstones and fancy color diamonds as colorless diamonds stagnate. Chinese jewelers upbeat about first-quarter sales during Chinese New Year season.