‘RAPAPORT… De Beers’ rough sales rose in December, albeit at a slower rate than in previous months, as steady retail demand ahead of the holidays supported trading at the rough and polished levels.
The final sales cycle of the year brought in $440 million, up 3% from the $426 million the miner recorded a year earlier, it reported Thursday. However, the figure was 5% lower than the November cycle’s $462 million.
“Positive consumer demand for diamond jewelry as we enter the holiday season is supporting the continuation of retail orders for polished diamonds from the diamond industry’s midstream sector,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver. “This, in turn, supported steady demand for De Beers rough diamonds at our final sales cycle of 2020.”
The sale marks De Beers’ fourth consecutive year-on-year increase, with the figures encompassing last week’s sight, as well as auction revenues. The company raised prices by 1% to 2% on select items for which it observed good polished demand — namely 0.75-carat rough and larger, as first reported by Rapaport News earlier this week. De Beers also changed the assortments it offered, market insiders said.
Prices of smaller diamonds were mostly unchanged, as the market for polished under 0.50 carats is currently weaker, the sources added.
“While the diamond industry ends the year on a positive note, we must recognize the risks that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic presents to sector recovery, both for the rest of this year and as we head into 2021,” Cleaver cautioned.’
Source – Rapaport