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Diamond markets quiet and conservative, with dealers in Belgium and Israel returning from vacation next week. Diamantaires hoping September Hong Kong fair will stimulate stronger 4Q polished trading. IIJS show sees busy gold-jewelry section, but wholesalers cautious as rupee depreciates to INR 70/$1 for the first time. Rough demand stable as cutters prepare for holiday orders. Alrosa July sales +16% to $339M, starts testing ruble payments for rough. Sarine 2Q sales -1% to $18M, profit +28% to $4M. Belgium July polished exports +8% to $1.1B, rough imports +23% to $956M. Tiffany to refurbish 5th Avenue flagship store. De Beers appoints Jim Duffy to head Tracr blockchain program.

Fancies: Far East demand improving as Chinese consumers seek Pears and Princesses at better prices. US and European demand mixed. Ovals and Cushions are best sellers, followed by Emeralds and Pears. 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. US supporting market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: 
Dealers still feeling impact of summer slowdown. Selective demand with suppliers holding prices firm. Steady orders for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, 3X goods. Some caution in jewelry retail sector, with lower-than-expected July and August sales. Trade optimistic for fourth-quarter holiday season.

Belgium: Bourses closed for annual summer break and set to reopen next week. Dealers concerned about growing acceptance of synthetics, and are calling for more effective lobbying from industry leadership.

Israel: Trading slow during ongoing vacation period. Dealers working with James Allen note shift in demand to VS from SIs. Good orders on the consumer portal for 0.70 ct., G-H, VVS2-VS1. Weak wholesale market for smaller items up to 0.29 ct., with prices down from three months ago. Businesses preparing for Hong Kong show, seeing stable Chinese interest in 0.50 to 1.99 ct., VVS-VS, K-M diamonds.

India: Activity relatively quiet following last week’s IIJS show. Polished trading slow as expected at the fair, but solid demand for gold and diamond jewelry. Retailers looking for lower price points, with lightweight gold and fancy-shape diamonds proving popular. Dealer sentiment cautious amid ongoing bankruptcy rumors. Manufacturers maintaining steady production ahead of fourth quarter.

Hong Kong:
 Market improving, with dealers acclimating to weaker yuan currency and higher price points. Recent stock market drop dampening retail sentiment. Dossiers moving well, with stable orders for 0.30 to 0.50 ct. D-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. IF-VVS dossiers soft. Lower colors strong, reflecting shift in local demand. Rising expectations for September show.


Source: Rapaport News