Rough diamond sales by De Beers for the tenth – and final – sales cycle of 2021 were 26.5% down on the comparable cycle of 2020 but total sales for the year are sharply up on levels reported for both 2020 and 2019.
De Beers group CEO Bruce Cleaver commented, “ rough diamond demand and midstream sentiment continued to be positive in the final sales cycle of 2021 although as anticipated we saw some impact on sales ahead of the seasonal closure of polishing factories in southern Africa over the Christmas period.
“Nonetheless, despite the ongoing challenges of Covid-19, our rough diamond sales for the year are higher than what we saw in 2019 before the onset of the pandemic, and much higher than our sales in 2020.
“Consumer demand for diamond jewellery is continuing to perform very well over the key holiday period, so we head towards the new year with positive trading conditions and industry sentiment.”
The tenth cycle provisional sales figure of $332m brought total sales for 2021 to a provisional $4.82m which compares with total sales of $2.79m for 2020 and $4bn for 2019.
Diamond sales slumped in 2019 from the $5.4bn sold in 2018 because of adverse global economic conditions and restrictions on credit to the diamond cutting and polishing sector.