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Market Demand Shifts Toward Lower-Priced, Commercial Goods

Aug 14, 2014 6:00 PM  
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Diamond market demand shifting away from expensive better-quality goods toward lower-priced, commercial and promotional qualities. Dossiers doing well, although Chinese market is relatively slow. Rough trading cautious with stable prices expected at next week’s De Beers sight. Lucara Diamond Corp. 2Q revenue +50% to $71M, net income -31% to $16M. Sarine Technologies 2Q revenue +12% to $25M, profit +4% to $9M. Shrenuj & Co. 1Q revenue +35% to $220M, profit +21% to $3M, Asian Star 1Q revenue +32% to $139M, profit +56% to $3M. U.S. June jewelry store sales +3% to $2.4B. Japan June polished imports +7% to $80M. Global 2Q gold jewelry demand -36% to $21B.

Fancies: Fancy shape market steady with fair demand for excellent shaped and larger polished sizes. Cutters are moving to fancy shapes because of significantly high rough prices for identical quality round diamonds. Curves (Pears, Ovals) are doing better than Squares (Emerald, Princess) in larger sizes with squares doing better in under the carat sizes. Demand for Princess cut weak. Far East markets becoming more aware of fancy shapes. Buyers very selective regarding shape- and cut-quality with extreme price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly-cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell even at very deep discounts.

Global Comments:


United States: Activity in the Diamond Dealers Club of New York has been fairly busy during the India Diamond Week that took place from August 11 to 14. Trading has been steady, although dealers were expecting more India-based suppliers to attend. There is good demand for 1-carat and larger, G-M, SI-I2 commercial-quality diamonds, while demand for finer-quality goods is relatively weak. Jewelry retail sales are stable with a strong focus on pushing engagement and bridal jewelry. The major jewelry retailers are looking for goods while independents and medium-sized jewelers are maintaining low inventories, buying primarily to replace sold stock and fill new orders. 

Belgium: There is very little activity with most dealers on vacation as the bourses are closed until August 18 for the summer break. Some Antwerp-based Indian dealers traveled to Mumbai to source goods during the lull period. However, most are waiting out the break with rising optimism for the September Hong Kong show and improved trading ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Hong Kong: Polished trading remains quiet with relatively weak demand from Mainland China. Chinese dealers are expected to maintain low-level buying through August. Dealers expect activity to improve in the coming weeks ahead of the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair taking place on September 15 to 21. There is steady demand for GIA-dossiers, while demand for larger stones above 3 carats is selective.

India: Polished trading is relatively slow and sentiment is sluggish as dealers are uncertain about prospective price trends. There is steady demand for dossiers as well as for piqué goods. Demand for 0.30-carat to 0.50-carat, D-H, VS-SI goods has slowed slightly, while demand for 0.30-carat to 3-carat, G-M, SI-I2 clarity diamonds is steady. Demand for 1-carat diamonds is relatively weak with a reportedly large inventory of these goods available. Liquidity is tight, particularly among suppliers of 1-carat and larger diamonds. Rough trading is stable but slower than previous months. Dealers expect prices to remain stable at next week’s De Beers sight.

Israel: The Israel Diamond Exchange remains closed for the annual summer break until August 24. Trading activity is therefore very quiet with many dealers on vacation. There is some anticipation for the U.S. and International Diamond Week taking place on September 1 to 4 and for the Hong Kong show thereafter.  
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Diamond market demand shifting away from expensive better-quality goods toward lower-priced, commercial and promotional qualities. Dossiers doing well, although Chinese market is relatively slow. Rough trading cautious with stable prices expected at next week’s De Beers sight. Lucara Diamond Corp. 2Q revenue +50% to $71M, net income -31% to $16M. Sarine Technologies 2Q revenue +12% to $25M, profit +4% to $9M. Shrenuj & Co. 1Q revenue +35% to $220M, profit +21%...



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