De Beers has announced that they have signed an agreement with India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to undertake promotional activities to drive consumer demand for diamond jewellery in India. This campaign will be done during India’s key selling season this year.
De Beers Group Chief Executive Officer Bruce Cleaver, said India is an important nation not only because diamonds were first discovered in India, but because the country “represents the heartbeat of the industry’s midstream sector.” He expressed optimism saying India “is of central importance to De Beers’ future and is at the very heart of the diamond pipeline,” adding that they have observed “growth of between 25- and 30 percent in India.”
Recently, a production report released by Anglo American for the second quarter (Q2) ended 30 June 2016, showed that De Beers’ diamond production decreased by 19 percent to 6.4 million carats in comparison to the corresponding period in 2015. The decline is attributed to the decision taken to reduce production in response to the tough trading conditions in the second half (H2) of 2015. Cleaver indicated at the recent financial performance results briefing that the numbers published from the five sights that had been held recorded 17.2 million carats of rough diamonds, indicating a 29 percent increase from the same period last year.
Cleaver also said India is important for the company’s Forevermark diamond trademark. He added that this was because the country had an old and established jewellery consuming culture, had a rapidly growing middle class and had the fastest paced economic growth all round. “Brands will grow in India and so we are very excited about the downstream segment in India,” he said. America however remains De Beers’ prominent consumer market as was mentioned by Cleaver citing that the world’s hegemony makes up 45 percent of the world market and thereby underpins growth in the consumer market. Cleaver said that De Beers will maintain a strong marketing focus in India and China because of the potential that lies there. Marketing, as was noted by Cleaver, is one of the three key areas of investment focusing particularly on special campaigns around key selling seasons. The effort was said to have paid off in America and China.