Mixed mood as dealers prepare for Las Vegas shows. Slow polished market lacking usual pre-show buzz. Suppliers looking to assess retail atmosphere ahead of 2017 holiday season. Major jewelers under pressure as Tiffany shares plunge approximately -8% after 1Q sales +1% to $900M, net earnings +6% to $93M. Signet Jewelers shares slump about -9% as 1Q sales -11% to $1.4B, profit -52% to $70M, outsources credit portfolio. Rough market resilient. US March polished imports -3% to $2B, polished exports +7% to $1.6B. De Beers to start polished auctions in June. THE RAPAPORT PRICE LIST WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED ON JUNE 2 DUE TO THE JEWISH HOLIDAY OF SHAVUOT.
Fancies: Steady demand for Pears in the Far East, with Ovals overtaking Pears as the strongest shape in the US. 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: Polished trading slows ahead of Las Vegas shows. Many wholesale and retail jewelers still unsure about their attendance. Shortage of nice 1.50 to 3 ct., G-H, VS2-SI1 (3X, none) diamonds. Similar scarcity of top-make pear shapes. Jewelry sales steady, with good engagement ring demand as summer “proposal” season begins. Center stone with pavé setting rising in popularity.
Belgium: Steady market, but European buyers cautious after Manchester terror attack. Good dealer demand for 0.30 to 0.40 ct., D-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A2 and improving demand for 0.50 to 0.80 ct., D-J, VS-SI diamonds. Steady Chinese demand, while US orders weaker than usual before Las Vegas shows. Rough market strong, with good energy after Antwerp Rough Week that began May 10.
Israel: Sentiment positive despite sluggish trading as more than 60 Israeli companies are participating in the JCK Las Vegas show. Large volume of goods out on memo for the show. Monthly “Blue and White Day” boosts activity on bourse trading floor. Good demand for 0.30 to 0.49 ct. goods. Melee market quiet, with suppliers giving strong discounts for bulk inventory orders.
India: Activity relatively slow, with some dealers still on vacation through May school holidays. Very few overseas buyers in the market. Rising expectations for Las Vegas shows. Steady demand for very small -2, SI goods. Stars, melee and piqué goods slow. Good market for 0.30 to 0.40 ct., D-J, VS-SI, 3X diamonds. Rough trading buoyant as manufacturing levels continue to rise.
Hong Kong: Polished market stable during traditionally quieter period of the year. Dealers focused on lower colors and clarities, reflects shift in consumer demand toward lower qualities and price points. Hong Kong jewelry sales sluggish due to reduced tourist traffic. Sales in mainland China positive as more luxury consumers are buying local. Oval-shape fancies gaining in popularity.