High expectations for Hong Kong show 2018 as dealers maintain firm prices for RapSpec A2+ diamonds, and jewelry sales improve during Chinese New Year.
- Indian market cautious, with banks expected to tighten lending amid $1.8B fraud claim against Nirav Modi and Gitanjali. Rough trading steady as cutters increase production to fill polished shortages.
- De Beers 2017 earnings -21% to $528M, revenue -4% to $5.8B, plans to raise 2018 production to 34M-36M cts.
- Lucara 2017 sales -25% to $221M, profit -8% to $65M.
- Petra 1H revenue -1% to $225M, loss of $118M vs. profit of $35M.
- US 2017 polished imports -6% to $21.6B, exports -4% to $18B.
- Reuven Kaufman reelected NY DDC president.
Fancies: Fancy shapes mixed, with curves better than squares. Ovals hot, followed by Pears and Cushions. Emeralds and Radiants fair, 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 sentiment and firm prices. Shortage of fine-quality (3X, no-fluorescence) VS-SI goods. Excess supply of lower-quality stones with center inclusions. Steady demand for 0.30 to 2 ct., G-J, VS2-SI2 diamonds. Fewer goods being sent on memo, with dealers holding on to stock for the Hong Kong show. Jewelry retail market stable over Valentine’s Day.
Belgium: Dealers optimistic after good start to the year. Focus on filling US and European orders. Asia quiet during Chinese New Year vacation. 0.30 to 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds selling well. 3 ct., G-H, VS, 3X also doing nicely. Marquise the strongest fancy shape. Rough trading stable ahead of next week’s De Beers sight.
Israel: Polished trading slower as dealers wait for Hong Kong show 2018. High expectations for the fair, with 80 Israeli companies exhibiting. Suppliers holding prices firm. Strong interest in 0.30 to 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Good demand at big-stone rough auctions.
India: Cautious mood following major bank fraud claim against Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems. Domestic demand relatively weak at recent IIJS Signature show. Diamond dealers focused on US and China. Manufacturers raising production, with shift from smaller sizes to pointers. Rough market stable ahead of De Beers Feb. sight.
Hong Kong: Trading slow as dealers return from Chinese New Year vacation. Suppliers report positive holiday orders and expect further boost from the show. Steady market for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Larger stones above 3 ct. also selling well. Strong jewelry retail sales during Chinese New Year, according to government data.