De Beers’ eighth cycle rough diamond sales fall to $500m as Diwali approaches

Indian woman holding Diwali oil lamp

ROUGH diamond sales declined to $500m in De Beers’ eight cycle compared to seventh cycle sales of $638m – a downturn the group said was in line with expectations.

“Demand for our rough diamonds during sales cycle 8 was in line with expectations at what is a traditionally quieter time of year for the diamond industry as polishing factories in India prepare for closures ahead of the Diwali holidays,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers.

“The steady overall demand for De Beers Group rough diamonds is reflected in the ongoing consumer demand for diamond jewellery ahead of the key holiday sales season in the US.” Rough diamond sales for the eighth cycle last year totalled $492m.

Goldman Sachs has estimated $6.3bn worth of rough diamond sales for De Beers during 2022. Revenues including the eighth cycle total $4.9bn.

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.