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De Beers Estimates Diamond Industry Grew 4% in 2012

India, China Growth Slowed

Dec 2, 2012 5:31 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... De Beers projected that global polished diamond sales rose 4 percent in 2012 as demand ‎in India and China were lower than expected in the second half of the year. ‎

‎“[There was] general anticipation of slightly improved performance in the second half due ‎to the traditionally strong fourth quarter range of festivals, [including] Diwali, Golden ‎Week and Christmas,” said Philippe Mellier, De Beers chief executive, in a company ‎presentation presented to analysts in London on Friday. “The total market is likely to be ‎up in low- to mid-single digits.”‎

The diamond mining group noted a sharper that expected slowdown  in China as ‎anticipated improvement in consumer spending from an expected government stimulus ‎didn’t materialize. In addition, De Beers anticipates that growth in India will remain ‎subdued due to weak economic sentiment on the back of high inflation and a volatile ‎rupee. ‎

De Beers estimated that polished diamond sales in China grew 11 percent in 2012, ‎compared with 25 percent growth recorded in 2011, while sales in India fell 1 percent ‎after growth of 9 percent last year. Sales in the U.S. increased 4 percent during the year, ‎the group estimated. ‎

Mellier explained that rough diamond prices stabilized in the fourth quarter after an ‎adjustment occurred in the third quarter and prior stable rough prices in the first six ‎months of 2012. ‎

The company has maintained its mining operations focused on maintenance and waste ‎stripping during the period of market weakness that began in the fourth quarter of 2011. ‎Production fell 20 percent year on year to 19.824 million carats during the first nine ‎‎months of 2012.  ‎Rough diamond sales to sightholders fell 23 percent to $3.98 billion ‎during the same period, according to Rapaport estimates.‎

De Beers, which is 85 percent owned by Anglo American and 15 percent by‎ Botswana, recently announced that it was realigning its business structure ‎and consolidating the corporate identity of all its subsidiaries under the De Beers brand.  ‎
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, De Beers Philippe Mellier Diamonds Diamond Jewelry Rapaport
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