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De Beers Sales Volume Rises in Positive Market

Jul 19, 2018 6:51 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... De Beers’ sales volume and production grew sharply in the second quarter amid strong trading conditions, the miner’s parent company reported Thursday.

Rough-diamond sales rose 69% to 10 million carats during the three months ending June 30, Anglo American said. The increase from 5.9 million carats a year ago reflects resurgent demand, as well as the fact that De Beers held three sights during the quarter rather than two.

“Sales volumes benefited from positive sentiment in the midstream following growth in consumer demand for diamond jewelry in late 2017, and a continuing positive outlook,” Anglo explained.

De Beers’ average selling price rose 4% to $162 per carat in the first half, reflecting a 1.6% year-on-year increase in the miner’s rough-price index, which monitors the cost of its goods to clients on a like-for-like basis. Demand also shifted to higher-value goods, after Indian demonetization in late 2016 led to strong demand for smaller rough in the first quarter of 2017. Sales volume declined 6% to 18.8 million carats in the first six months of 2018, because post-demonetization demand inflated the figures for the previous year.

Production grew 3% to 9 million carats in the second quarter of 2018, and jumped 8% to 17.5 million carats for the half year, as De Beers lifted output to meet stronger demand. The increase also reflects the addition of the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada, which reached its intended output level — known as commercial production — in March 2017.

Debswana, De Beers’ joint mining venture with the Botswana government, raised its production by 6% to 6.3 million carats for the quarter in response to trading conditions. Output in Canada rose 17% to 1.2 million carats as Gahcho Kué came onstream, with recovery levels in Namibia up 32% to 515,000 carats due to higher grades at land-based projects and improvements in its marine mining operations. Production in South Africa fell 28% to 1 million carats after a fatal incident at the Venetia mine in March led to a period of suspension.

The company has maintained its 2018 production forecast of 34 million to 36 million carats, compared with 33.5 million carats last year.

Image: De Beers
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Tags: Anglo American, Botswana, consumer demand, De Beers, Debswana, Gahcho Kué, marine mining, Namibia, Production, Rapaport News, Rough Diamonds, Rough Production, Sales Volume, South Africa
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