De Beers reports slowing diamond sales

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De Beers reports slowing diamond sales

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Published Date: 2021-04-08 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

De Beers reports slowing diamond sales

The Anglo American subsidiary says demand remains solid as the industry enters a traditional quieter period for sales.

De Beers says good sales of its diamonds over the year-end holiday season continued into the first quarter of 2021, with solid demand for rough diamonds as it entered a traditionally quieter period of the year for the diamond industry.

The Anglo American subsidiary sold diamonds worth $440-million in its third sales cycle for the year, down from $550-million in the second cycle. The same cycle last year was cancelled due to Covid-19. It said it continued to implement a more flexible approach to sales of its rough diamonds due to restrictions on movement, extending its Sight events beyond their normal week-long duration. As a result, the sales figure for the cycle was provisional and remained subject to adjustment based on final completed sales.

For 2020, De Beers' rough diamond production decreased by 18% to 25.1 million carats as a result of lower demand due to the pandemic and Covid-19 restrictions in southern Africa during the first half of the year. Diamond demand from cutters and polishers of rough diamonds was affected throughout the year by Covid-19 lockdowns, travel restrictions and retail store closures. Overall, these developments contributed to the average rough price index for De Beers diamonds decreasing by 10% last year.

Anglo American owns 85% of De Beers, with the balance owned by the government of Botswana. De Beers and its partners produce around one-third of the world's rough diamonds, by value.

Anglo's shares closed 0.2% down at R598.61 yesterday.





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