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De Beers Sales Stall Amid India Slowdown

May 19, 2021 5:33 AM   By Rapaport News
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De Beers registered its weakest sales total since August as rough demand wobbled during India’s Covid-19 wave.

The fourth sales cycle of 2021 saw proceeds of $380 million, down from $450 million in the third cycle, the miner reported Wednesday. Revenues included the sight that took place in early May, as well as auctions.

“We continue to see robust demand for diamond jewelry in the key US and China consumer markets,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver. “However, the scale of the second wave of Covid-19 in India, where the majority of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished, has led to reduced midstream capacity and subsequently lower rough-diamond demand, during what is already a seasonally slower time of year for midstream purchases.”

Sales were still above the $56 million the miner brought in during the entire second quarter of 2020, when the supply chain almost ground to a halt because of the coronavirus crisis. The rough market has since recovered as retailers and manufacturers returned to buying amid strong consumer demand and shortages in the midstream.

De Beers offered reduced supply at the May sight because of lower availability, sightholders noted earlier this month. Demand for larger rough diamonds mostly withstood the India crisis despite a drop in manufacturing, while the market for smaller goods was weaker, they added.

Image: A rough diamond under analysis at the premises of sightholder KGK in Botswana. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
Tags: COVID-19, De Beers, mining, Rapaport News, Rough Diamonds, rough market, Sightholders
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