Gaborone, Botswana–De Beers reported that rough diamond sales totaled $665 million in its first sales cycle of the year, down when compared with 2017 but up over 2016.
The $665 million (a provisional figure) includes diamonds sold both to sightholders and via its auction platform.
It is a 9 percent drop from the same period last year, when sales totaled $729 million, though De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver noted that 2017 was an anomaly. Sales were up 32 percent in the first quarter of last year as demand recovered toward the end of 2016. The beginning of 2017 also saw many Indian dealers restocking after being hit hard by the country’s demonetization program in 2016.
When compared with the first sales cycle of 2016, De Beers’s sales were up 22 percent.
Cleaver said: “Following positive early signs for diamond jewelry sales over the holiday season in the U.S., the need for the industry to restock led to increasing demand for our rough diamonds in the first sales cycle of 2018.”
De Beers also revised its sales figure for the 10th and final sales cycle of 2017 up slightly, from the $450 million reported in December to $455 million.
Here is a chart showing the 2017 to 2018 comparison for De Beers’s rough diamond sales.
First sales cycle
$665 million (provisional)