While we are in the traditional mid-stream selling season, activity is certainly not what it used to be. Retailers are believed to be stocked up with goods on memo and are calling to fill holes – but again on memo. They have no desire to buy any goods as they have no confidence in polished prices. That said, it does now appear that polished has stabilized; shortages in some area are starting to be felt and price increases are slowly appearing there.
One or two Indian suppliers to US companies have also warned that prices will start to increase from mid-November.
The season is hoped to be decent. Lab grown diamonds, though, are going to be competing for share of wallet, particularly in the majors and chain stores. Competition between jewellery manufacturers using lab grown is increasing and there is evidence of companies undercutting each other to gain market share within retailer showcases.
Economic news from the US remains reasonable. Jobs growth in October beat forecasts as another 128,000 positions were added, although economic growth is now described as tepid at 1.6%. Recent interest rate cuts are expected to underpin performance in the immediate future.