De Beers warns of Diwali disruption to “next few cycles” after posting $630m in sales

Petra Diamonds Letlapa Tala Collection

DE BEERS said today rough diamond sales for the seventh cycle totalled $630m, an improvement on the $522m in sales for the same period last year, but lower than sixth cycle sales which totalled $638m.

“De Beers Group rough diamond sales continued at a steady level in the seventh sales cycle of 2022,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers.

Cleaver warned, however, of disruption over the next few cycles. “In line with normal seasonal trends, we anticipate that sales in the next few cycles will be affected by the temporary closure of polishing factories for the Diwali holidays,” he said.

Goldman Sachs has estimated $6.3bn worth of rough diamond sales for De Beers during 2022. Revenues so far for the first seven cycles total about $4.4bn.

De Beers, which is 85% owned by Anglo American, comprised 11% of total interim underlying ebitda for the UK listed miner for the first six months of its 2022 financial year. This was following a 55% improvement in average diamond prices to to $213 per carat.

De Beers increased its forecast for full year production to between 32 and 34 million carats which compares to previous guidance of 30 to 33 million carats. The forecast was subject to “further Covid-19 related disruptions”.

Unit cost guidance was unchanged at $65/carat.

Writing on the diamond market, Bloomberg News said that supplies of rough diamonds produced by Russia’s Alrosa were making their way into the general market reducing any potential price premium their absence may have attracted.