Monday, April 22, 2024

De Beers reports lower sales value

De Beers, the biggest diamond producer by value, has reported lower rough diamond sales in its latest sales cycle as the diamond industry enters a seasonally quiet period.

On Wednesday, De Beers reported that the value of rough diamonds sold in the fourth sales cycle of the year was $480 million, lower than the $542 million fetched in the third sales cycle. The latest provisional sales figure are also lower than the $604 million that was earned in the fourth sales cycle of 2022, continuing what has been a trend this year, with 2023 sales sights being outperformed by last year’s comparable sights.

The diamond mining giant’ first sales cycle of 2023 brought in $454 million, a decline of 31 percent from the same period in 2022, while the second sight raked in $497 million – 24 percent lower than 2022’s second sales cycle that netted $652 million. This year’s third sales cycle value was 4 percent lower than the corresponding sight in 2022.

 “Sales of our rough diamonds in the fourth sales cycle of the year saw a small decrease from the previous cycle as the industry has entered what is traditionally a seasonally quieter period. Rough diamond demand was also influenced by ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty and a slower pace of recovery in consumer demand from China than was widely anticipated,” said De Beers chief executive officer, Al Cook.

De Beers last year broke its six year old record after rough diamond sales soared. Through its subsidiary, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (DGSS), the mining company hosts rough diamond sales 10 times a year that are also known as ‘Sights’. DGSS sells around 90 per cent of De Beers Group’s rough diamonds, by value, via term contracts to customers. The other 10 percent is sold via De Beers Group Auctions.

The 135 year old diamond company earned $5.67 billion from the ten rough diamonds Sights, surpassing the 2016 record of $5.6 billion. The higher sales record follows what has been a strong recovery in the diamond industry, improving on 2021’s $4.82 billion, that eclipsed the $2.79 billion earned in 2020 after Covid-19 roiled the diamond industry, reducing the gains made in 2019 after the diamond miner sold $4 billion worth of rough diamonds. In 2018, De Beers’ ten sales cycle earned $5.39 billion and $5.31 billion in 2017.

De Beers’ rough diamond production in 2022 increased to 34.6 million carats, up from 2021’s 32.3 million carats, reflecting strong operational performance and higher planned levels of production to meet the sustained strong demand for rough diamonds, particularly in the first half of 2022. The company sources its natural diamonds from Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. For the first quarter of 2023, De Beers reported that rough diamond production was 8.9 million carats, same output as 2022’s first quarter output.  In Botswana, where De Beers sources nearly 70 percent of its diamonds, production increased by 12 percent to 6.9 million carats, primarily driven by the planned treatment of higher grade ore and continued strong plant performance at Orapa.

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