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De Beers to Hold Viewings in Antwerp and Dubai

Jul 23, 2020 10:56 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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RAPAPORT... De Beers will allow clients to view goods in Antwerp and Dubai at next week’s sight, with both the company and its Russian rival Alrosa maintaining their policies of enabling 100% deferrals.

The two largest miners are continuing to offer flexibility to rough-diamond buyers amid weak polished demand and the partial shutdown of India’s manufacturing sector. De Beers’ July sight and Alrosa’s monthly contract sale both begin on Monday.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, De Beers has been working on holding sight viewings in countries other than Botswana because most clients couldn’t attend the usual sale location. It brought some of its goods to Antwerp in June, and has previously mentioned Hong Kong and Dubai as possible venues for future viewings.

“For sight six, we will be offering viewings in Antwerp and Dubai, and we will continue to offer a 100% deferral option,” a De Beers spokesperson told Rapaport News Thursday.

De Beers traditionally sells the bulk of its rough diamonds at 10 sights in Gaborone throughout the year. It canceled its third sight of 2020, in late March and early April, because Botswana banned entry to visitors from several countries. Since then, it has allowed sightholders to delay all rough purchases to later in the year, an unprecedented move that has led to a significant inventory buildup. Alrosa has had the same policy in place since April.

Sales were at rock-bottom levels during the second quarter as rough buyers made use of that flexibility and also rejected De Beers’ and Alrosa’s high prices, which they hadn’t adjusted since February. De Beers’ rough sales slumped 96% year on year to $56 million for the three months, while the same figure at Alrosa nosedived 91% to $74.1 million.

Alrosa will allow clients to defer or refuse allocations at its July sale. The company will also reduce its supply allocations for contract clients by 50% in volume terms from August onward, it said in a statement Wednesday. Customers will be able to buy additional diamonds at auctions and tenders, or can request extra goods.

“Jewelry sales [are showing their] first signs of recovery after some counter-pandemic measures were lifted,” said Alrosa deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev. “However, most cutting-and-polishing facilities [are] still [operating] at reduced capacity, while polished diamonds demonstrate selective demand varying from segment to segment.”

Image: Rough and polished diamonds. (De Beers)
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Tags: Alrosa, contract sales, De Beers, Joshua Freedman, mining, Rapaport News, rough, Rough Diamonds, Sightholders, Sights
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