De Beers Sales Bounce Back
De Beers’ rough sales reached a three-month high at its June cycle as retail demand remained strong and India’s Covid-19 crisis eased.
The miner saw proceeds of $470 million at its fifth trading session of the year, up from $385 million in May, it reported Wednesday. A year earlier, the company registered sales of only $56 million for the fourth and fifth cycles combined, as the coronavirus pandemic froze the supply chain.
De Beers responded to the busy market activity by raising prices of 2-carat rough and larger by around 5%, insiders told Rapaport News.
“With demand for diamond jewelry in the key consumer markets of the US and China continuing to be positive, and midstream capacity in India returning, we have seen strong demand for rough diamonds during the fifth sales cycle,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver. “Overall sentiment is increasingly optimistic as we move towards the second half of the year and, while risks as a result of the global pandemic persist, we have been encouraged by the condition of the market.”
Indian authorities allowed diamond exporters to continue operations during the country’s recent deadly virus wave. Still, many polished manufacturers in Surat reduced their production levels because workers were sick, in quarantine, or had returned to their hometowns.
In light of this, De Beers’ sales — having peaked at $663 million in January — slipped month on month in each of the next three sessions. This reflected a deteriorating situation in India, as well as a drop in De Beers’ availability of goods following buoyant first-quarter demand.
The sales total includes the company’s June sight, which took place earlier in the month, as well as auctions. De Beers holds 10 sights a year, with the next one scheduled to start on July 12.