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Rough Market Wakes Up at Large De Beers Sight

Jan 24, 2017 4:35 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... De Beers rough-diamond sales jumped 32 percent year on year to $720 million during its first sales cycle of 2017 as manufacturers restocked following the holiday season.

January is a seasonally busy month for the rough sector as traders and manufacturers return to the market after working down their inventories over the festive selling period. Even so, the miner recorded its largest January sight since 2014, according to Rapaport records.

“We saw good demand across the majority of our assortment during the first sales cycle of the year, as the industry entered the period when rough diamond demand is traditionally strongest,” said Bruce Cleaver, De Beers chief executive officer.

Demand for smaller goods, while still weaker than larger stones, started to pick up again after being hurt by the Indian government’s decision to invalidate INR 500 and INR 1,000 currency notes in November. This move, known as demonetization, sapped liquidity mainly from the smaller manufacturers. Prices of smaller goods were relatively steady, in contrast to an increase among larger goods, sightholders reported.

The industry is slowly getting used to the new environment where smaller companies who deal in cash have less buying power, sightholders said. Indian cutting factories have started to return to activity after the liquidity crisis stopped many from opening up after Diwali, with demand for the smaller goods picking up gradually.

“While the reopening of some diamond polishing operations in India saw something of an increase in demand for smaller, lower-quality rough diamonds, we maintain a cautious outlook for these categories as the Indian industry continues to adjust to the post-demonetization environment,” Cleaver added.

Image: Newscast
Tags: Bruce Cleaver, De Beers, Rapaport News, rough market, Rough Production, Sightholders, Sights
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