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De Beers Bounces Back to Profit in 2021

Feb 24, 2022 5:10 AM   By Rapaport News
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De Beers’ profit rebounded last year as strong consumer demand buoyed rough-diamond sales and drove prices higher.

The miner’s underlying earnings came to $345 million for the full year, compared with a loss of $102 million in 2020, parent company Anglo American reported Thursday.

“The diamond industry continued to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2021,” the miner said. “As downstream and midstream demand conditions continued to improve, rough diamond production and prices increased throughout the year, following the significant reductions seen at the start of the pandemic.”

De Beers’ revenue surged 66% to $5.60 billion for the year, while rough sales volume climbed 56% to 33.4 million carats. The company’s rough price index, which tracks valuations on a like-for-like basis, grew 11%, with the average realized price up 10% to $146 per carat.

“Rough diamond demand is expected to remain steady as the midstream continues to operate with lower stock levels and manufacturing below full capacity,” it added. Demand was robust at the February sight, which took place this week, with the company raising prices for smaller goods an estimated 5%, as first reported by Rapaport News.

Diamond jewelry in the US and mainland China posted positive growth in the first half of 2021, even when compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, De Beers noted. US consumers had accumulated savings during the lockdown period, and diverted funds away from luxury travel, given the government restrictions, the company explained. While other consumer markets were slower to recover, the second half saw a more positive trend across the entire international diamond value chain, it added.

De Beers expects growth in consumer demand for diamond jewelry to continue, driven by the US economic recovery, higher accumulated savings, and postponed marriages.

Meanwhile, De Beers expects to produce between 30 million and 33 million carats in 2022, in line with last year’s output of 32.3 million carats. 

Image: Rough diamonds. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
Tags: Anglo American, COVID-19, De Beers, diamonds, Rapaport News, Rough Diamonds
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