TEXAS // FEATURE
Buyers around the world surprised by diamond market during Passover and Easter
Xaver Jewels is located at 6222 Richmond Ave., No. 315, in Houston, TX. For more information, call 281-250-0671.
By: SAUMIL MANEK
MANY WOULDN’T THINK that diamonds would be so deeply impacted on a global scale by the Easter holiday and Passover, but from Israel to the United States to India to China, the diamond markets reacted. Around the world, diamond trading was quiet during Passover and Easter holidays. The Far East demand slowed a bit ahead of the much anticipated May 1 retail season. The U.S. market managed to remain stable. The GIA appointed Matt Crimmin VP of laboratory operations and there was good demand for GIAdossiers with shortages due primarily to grading delays. Many hope that Crimmin might work to bring these delays to an end. With banks tightening credit in India, liquidity became an issue there. NUMBERS THAT WE WATCH CLOSELY: • De Beers 1Q production +18% to 7.5M cts. • Petra Diamonds 3Q revenue +55% to $164M, production +15% to 743,424 cts. • Lazare Kaplan 3Q revenue -6% to $14M. • RapNet Melee Index (RMI) +5.4% to 137.6 in 1Q.
FANCIES SHOWING PROMISE WORTH NOTING: The fancy shape diamond market is doing noticeably better with good demand for excellent shaped and polished larger sizes. Given a choice between rough cuts and fancy shapes at the same quality, buyers clearly want fancy. In large sizes, curves (pears, ovals) are doing better than squares (emerald, princess). In under the carat sizes, squares are winning buyers. BELGIUM
Far East markets are taking note. Buyers there are still selective with extreme price differences between excellent- and average-cuts. Off-make, poorly-cut fancies are hard sells.
A LOOK AROUND THE GLOBE: United States - Wholesale trading is stable/ specific demand in the bridal market/ Diamond Week: Polished diamond trading in New York slowed during the holiday with some closed into the following Wednesday. Wholesale trading is stable with steady demand for round, 0.50-carat to 1-carat, F-G, SI- certified goods for the bridal market. There is price resistance among buyers turning to fancies to help the bottom line. There is some anticipation for the Antwerp Diamond Week scheduled to take place in the Diamond Dealers Club in New York on May 4. Retail jewelry demand is stable with jewelers noting improved demand for large stones and a rising trend of consumers buying for themselves. Belgium – Rough trading stable/ switching labs to avoid grading delays: The holidays slowed the polished and rough trade. Polished suppliers faced price resistance with rough trade stable. On the positive side, there is stable demand for certified, 0.25-carat to 0.90-carat, G-I, VS-SI diamonds with many manufacturers shifting to other labs to avoid the frustrating delays at the Gemological ISRAEL CHINA
USA HONG KONG
NSIDE TEXAS BUSINESS / JULY.AUGUST 2014
Institute of America (GIA). China – Wholesale and retail quiet/ wedding season/ concern about gold consumption: Wholesale and retail jewelry activity is quiet. Hopes are high for the May 1 holiday bridal buys. There is good demand for 0.30-carat to 0.70-carat, D-H, VS-SI, GIA-certified goods with shortages of triple EX stones. The World Gold Council (WGC) expects gold demand to stagnate. Hong Kong – Fewer foreign dealers during holiday/ tourism from Mainland China: Slow polished trade greeted Easter weekend with few foreign dealers in the market. Hopes rest on tourists from mainland China to stimulate sales during the May 1 holiday. India – Rupee volatile/ suppliers willing to negotiate/ rough trade stable although demand has slowed Fewer foreign buyers in Mumbai subdued polished trade. A volatile rupee discouraged buyers from building inventory. Suppliers face price pressures and have shown some willingness to negotiate to turn stock. Liquidity is an issue with banks tight on lending to the industry. There is steady demand for goods below 1-carat and improving demand for 1-carat, 1.30-carat, and 1.70-carat, G-J, VS-SI diamonds. Dealers report a shortage in certified 0.70-carat goods. Rough trading is stable although demand has slowed since the end of March. Israel – Dealers return, but cautious/ focus shifting toward U.S./ frustrated by slow GIA turnaround time The Passover holiday subdued trade and dealers returned cautiously for a potentially slow April. The focus is shifting toward the U.S. ahead of the Vegas shows in May. There is steady demand for GIA-certified goods below 1-carat, G-J, VS-SI, but suppliers remain frustrated by the slow turnaround time at the GIA. Each of these markets show potential, if one knows where and what to buy. Xaver Jewels does. Contact us for all your custom jewelry purchases and you will know that you are getting the best quality at the best prices.