The global rough diamond market continues its gradual recovery but it’s hard going

Rough diamonds

The gradual recovery in the rough diamond market noted by De Beers in January and March has continued with a further rise in diamond sales at De Beers’ third sales cycle.

Provisional sales figures released by De Beers for 2024 cycle three report rough diamond sales worth $445m which compares with sales of $431m for the second cycle and $374m recorded in the first cycle.

But the latest sales are well down on the $542m reported for the third cycle of 2023 and De Beers CEO Al Cook is still sounding cautious on the state of the global diamond market.

He commented that, “Many diamond businesses are continuing to take a cautious approach to purchases amidst the uncertain economic landscape and the slow pace of growth in China.

“However, we saw a further uptick in our rough diamond sales in our third sales cycle, ahead of what is usually a slower period for rough diamond demand in the second quarter of the year.”

On March 13 – when reporting De Beers’ second cycle sales – Cook had commented that, “consumer demand for diamond jewellery is growing in India but remains sluggish in China.  Overall, we expect that the ongoing recovery in rough diamond demand will be gradual as we move through the year.”

On April 16 Petra Diamonds reported the results of its third diamond sales tender and commented that “like for like prices were relatively flat through this seasonally weaker period, being 0.8% lower than tender four.”

Petra CEO Richard Duffy added that, “average like-for-like prices for the first five tenders of financial year 2024 were down 8.5% year-to-date compared to the equivalent five tenders of financial year 2023. Pricing assumptions for the remainder of the year remain unchanged.”