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De Beers Lets Sightholders Defer Smaller Goods

Nov 2, 2020 10:49 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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De Beers is allowing customers to defer purchases of smaller rough at this week’s sight, as reduced manufacturing capacity in India has slashed demand.

Sightholders can refuse to buy fancies, makeables and sawables up to 0.75 carats, and instead make the purchases before the end of the first quarter of 2021, market insiders told Rapaport News Monday. De Beers is also letting customers remove certain goods from sight boxes, one source said.

“We are offering some deferral options in relation to certain smaller goods, as we think providing this flexibility is appropriate for the current industry conditions as demand patterns continue to evolve,” a De Beers spokesperson said.

Coronavirus restrictions have curbed manufacturers’ ability to cut these types of goods, as their relatively low value requires large processing volumes to make them profitable, a sightholder specializing in smaller sizes noted. The concessions don’t apply to larger stones, as that market has strengthened ahead of the holiday season, sources added.

Manufacturers are making their final purchases before the important selling period, as well as planning for the upcoming Chinese New Year, which occurs on February 12. Rough demand typically rises ahead of the November Diwali break in India, when manufacturers usually take vacation, though this year’s break will be shorter than usual.

“Some are [still making purchases for the holidays], because they want to keep factories going, and orders will be fairly late, especially in the bigger sizes,” a source explained. “There’s also the Chinese season, so people are still buying.”

The November sight — the ninth of the year — started Monday, with customers able to attend viewings in Antwerp, Dubai or Israel. De Beers kept prices stable, a source said.

Image: Rough diamonds. (De Beers)
Tags: Antwerp, Chinese New Year, Coronavirus, COVID-19, De Beers, Dubai, fancies, India, Israel, Joshua Freedman, makeables, Manufacturing, Rapaport News, rough, Rough Diamonds, sawables, Sightholders
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