Diamond market seasonally quiet as US dealers take vacation. Cutters under pressure as rough prices firm in 1H, while polished prices continue to soften. June RAPI for 1 ct. -0.8%, 0.30 ct. -1.5%, 0.50 ct. -3%, 3 ct. -1%. Polished inventory rising, with dealers expecting a slow summer period. Indian government reform favoring large jewelers as new GST tax system takes effect. Titan Company projects 50% growth in FY1Q. Global 2016 KP rough diamond production -11% to $12.4B, volume +5% to 134.1M cts., average price -15% to $92/ct. US April polished imports -15% to $1.6B, polished exports -13% to $1.2B. Stéphane Fischler to replace Andrey Polyakov as World Diamond Council president.
Fancies: Ovals best-selling fancy shape in US market, with shortage of 3 ct. stones. Cushions gaining popularity. Steady demand for Pears in the Far East. Emeralds improving and selling better than Princesses in larger 2 ct.+ sizes. Some demand for big fancy shapes such as Radiant, 3 ct.+, D-I, SI1-SI2 elongated stones, but buyers extremely picky. Large price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.
United States: Diamond market quiet, with wholesalers closed for the two-week summer vacation that began with July 4 long weekend. Stable engagement and bridal sales during summer wedding season. New York Diamond Dealers Club moves to new premises in International Gem Tower at 50 West 47th Street.
Belgium: Polished trading slow, with very little inventory-purchasing. Suppliers trying to maintain prices until August vacation period. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.90 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Selective demand for large stones. Liquidity concerns as bank seizes assets of former sightholder Exelco, Bloomberg reports. Rough market steady, with growing concern about high prices at auctions.
Israel: Market quiet as US wholesale clients take vacation. Far East trading stable, with steady demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Dealers looking for buying opportunities in India. Manufacturers concerned about profitability due to high rough prices. Rough premiums expected to drop on the secondary rough market during next sight (July 24-28).
India: Polished trading cautious, with buyers pushing for deeper discounts and suppliers holding prices firm for new goods. Old inventory more difficult to move. Businesses trying to understand new tax system with introduction of goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1. Manufacturing steady, but polished demand is expected to slow through summer months. Rough market stable, with lower dealer premiums on the secondary market.
Hong Kong: Market seasonally slow, with jewelry wholesalers and retailers planning for fourth quarter. June Hong Kong show not generating much follow-up business. Limited retailer inventory-buying during slow summer months. Hong Kong retail sales showing signs of improvement. China jewelry sales steady.