Steady demand and firm prices. Chinese orders slow down as focus turns to consumers for Chinese New Year (Feb. 16). Rising expectations for Year of the Dog, after China’s gold, silver and jewelry sales +6% to $47.2B in 2017. Strong rough market during $665M De Beers sight, with dealers selling boxes at estimated 6% average premium. De Beers selling third-party rough on auction platform. Alrosa 2017 sales volume +3% to 41.2M cts., production +6% to 39.6M cts. Petra Diamonds 1H revenue +1% to $225M, production +10% to 2.2M cts. LVMH 4Q jewelry & watch sales +9% to $1.3B. India raises import duty on polished diamonds from 2.5% to 5%.
Fancies: Fancy shapes mixed, with curves better than squares. Ovals hot, followed by Pears and Cushions. Emeralds and Radiants okay, Princesses still weak. Oversizes selling well. Steady demand for fine-quality 6 to 10 ct. Ovals, Pears and Emeralds, with limited supply. US supporting market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Far East demand improving as consumers seek fancy shapes at better prices. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.
United States: Positive mood after India Diamond Week and Centurion Show. Retailers starting to replenish stock after holiday sales. Dealers filling specific requests as they wait for post-holiday inventory orders. Good demand for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Jewelers preparing for Valentine’s Day with less promotional discounting than usual.
Belgium: Dealers upbeat, with steady demand for RapSpec A2+ (3X, no-fluorescence) goods. Prices firmer since beginning of the year. Steady US orders for SI and piqué diamonds. Good demand for 0.30 to 2 ct., G-J, VS-SI, diamonds. Rough market busy, with strong premiums for De Beers and Alrosa boxes.
Israel: Optimistic atmosphere ahead of International Diamond Week in Ramat Gan (February 5 to 7). Prices firm after recent increases by Indian suppliers. Some Israeli suppliers selling at lower prices to reduce inventory and improve liquidity, but are struggling to replace stock at current prices. Good demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., G-L, VS-SI goods. Rough trading steady.
India: Slight slowdown in trading as Far East buyers have completed their orders for the Chinese New Year. Steady foreign buyer interest. Good demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Factory production rising after large volume of rough entered the market in late January. Rough trading steady at higher premiums.
Hong Kong: Positive sentiment, with dealers optimistic for the Chinese New Year and for the upcoming Hong Kong show. Jewelry manufacturers closing for the festival. Improving demand for 1 to 2 ct., D-H, VS-SI diamonds. Retail improving with sales of jewelry, watches and other valuables +6% to $9.6B in 2017.