Diamond Sector News: Market uncertainty continues as Covid-19 cases rise again. Polished trading limited, but increase in online searches indicates efforts to fill specific orders. Major jewelers investing in e-commerce to stimulate multichannel sales and ease inventory requirements. Chow Tai Fook sees recovery in mainland China and plans 2020 expansion in lower-tier cities. Manufacturers operating at reduced capacity and facing liquidity strain at current demand levels. Rough easier to source at tenders than contract sales as De Beers and Alrosa maintain higher prices. Sotheby’s Geneva auction totals $13M, with marquise, 7 ct., fancy-intense-pink diamond ring selling for $2.8M ($405,714/ct.).
* Fancies: Fancy shapes sluggish as US retailers reopen. Dealers hoping for improvement in fancies for engagement rings as consumers seek alternative designs at lower cost. Diminished inventory of 1.50 ct. Ovals and Pears supporting prices, but demand still weak. High availability of fancies below 1 ct., with Cushions showing similar price declines to rounds. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.
* United States: Sentiment improving as New York dealer market gains some momentum. Orders coming in at reduced levels. Jewelers require melee for bridal collections and note rising interest in lower-priced engagement rings. Memo calls focused on 1.50 to 2.50 ct., F-K, VS-SI goods. 3 ct. and larger slow.
* Belgium: Deep concern over economic impact of coronavirus, with reports of more than 1,000 industry jobs lost in Antwerp. More companies offering rough in Antwerp due to travel limitations. Smaller miners and tender houses seeing improved interest in rough at reduced prices. Dealers filling orders for 0.30 to 0.80 ct. polished for retail programs. 1 ct. collection goods also selling well.
* Israel: Polished trading sporadic, with preference for local sourcing due to travel restrictions. Buyers very selective and filling orders rather than purchasing for inventory. Suppliers with the right goods are selling at steady prices. Stable interest in 1 ct., D, IF goods. Shift to lower price points for US market.
* India: Sentiment cautious amid sluggish demand from local and foreign buyers. Dealers and manufacturers operating at reduced capacity due to ongoing lockdown. Businesses lobbying government to allow extended period for loan repayments. Larger suppliers doing better than smaller companies. Cutters facing tight liquidity due to slump in orders and ongoing expenses.
* Hong Kong: Trading slowly picking up as China retail continues to improve. Activity limited as China border is still closed. Expectation of stronger demand from Chinese buyers once travel restrictions are lifted. Local demand weak. Stable market for 1 ct., D-H, VS-SI, 3X polished.
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