De Beers posts decline in sales for ninth quarter owing to India cutting factory closures

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers

DE BEERS reported $430m in rough diamond sales for the ninth cycle of the year which was lower than the $492m in sales it reported for the previous cycle.

The sales were also lower compared to the $462m rough diamond sales reported for the ninth cycle last year.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said demand leading up to the ninth cycle was “in line with expectations” ahead of cutting factory closures in India for the Diwali festival. Diwali occurred on November 4 this year.

De Beers sells its uncut and unpolished ‘rough’ diamonds to a select group of buyers in ten meetings a year it calls ‘cycles’. Year-to-date sales with one sales cycle remaining total $4.5bn.

“Sentiment continues to be positive on the back of strong demand for diamond jewellery from US consumers and this was reflected in the demand we saw for rough diamonds during Cycle 9,” said Cleaver in a statement today.

“As we head into Cycle 10, we anticipate rough diamond demand will likewise be affected by the Christmas holiday closure of cutting factories in southern Africa, but we expect to see positive industry conditions prevailing into the new year in light of the healthy outlook for the key retail selling season,” he said.

De Beers is 85% owned by Anglo American, the UK-listed diversified mining group. Goldman Sachs has forecast diamonds to contribute $1.2bn to Anglo American’s full year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $22.4bn this year. De Beers diamond sales were expected to total $5.1bn, the bank said.