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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Trading is slow with suppliers holding prices firm. Difficult to replace goods after recent price hikes and with fewer RapSpec A2+ goods on the market. Asia growth continues with Chow Tai Fook 2Q same-store sales +4% in China, +26% in Hong Kong/Macau. Weaker yuan concerns will impact 3Q consumer spending. Rough trading is stable, with lower volumes supporting prices. De Beers 1H production +8% to 17.5M cts., sales -7% to 17.8M cts., average price +4% to $162/ct.

Fancies: Far East demand is improving as Chinese consumers seek Pears and Princesses at better prices. US and European demand is mixed, with curves better than squares. Ovals hot, followed by Emeralds, Pears and Cushions. Marquises and Princesses weak. Oversizes selling well. Steady demand for fine-quality 6 to 10 ct. Ovals, Pears and Emeralds, with prices firming for 3 to 5 ct. due to shortages.

Belgium: Fewer orders, dealers prepared to wait through the vacation period rather than sell at lower prices. Bourses are scheduled to close for two weeks at end of July. Good market for 0.30 to 1.20 ct., D-H, VVS2-SI diamonds. Nice-make fancy shapes selling well, with smaller Pears and Ovals in short supply and high demand. Rough trading steady ahead of next week’s De Beers sight.

Israel: Market is quiet with prices stable. Solid demand for 0.70 ct., D, IF, and 1 ct., K-L, IF-VS2 diamonds. Local dealers looking for goods during quiet summer months. Melee trading weak, in part due to jewelers buying directly from manufacturers. Banks raise credit.

India: Sluggish summer demand, depreciating rupee and rumors of further bankruptcies. Dealers are frustrated by slower turnover, as authorities withhold shipments following $440 million fraud involving customs officials. 1 ct. and dossiers moving well. Rough demand stable, but manufacturers careful not to build up excess inventory.

Hong Kong: Steady demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., D-M, VS-SI diamonds. Buyers willing to pay strong premium for 3X over 3VG. Demand for 3 ct. and larger stones s improving, but shortages are restraining deals. Interest in fancy shapes and fancy color diamonds is rising.

Source: Rapaport