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De Beers Notes Recovery Ahead of Holidays

Sales volume and production accelerate in third quarter but remain below 2019 levels.
Oct 22, 2020 7:04 AM   By Rapaport News
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De Beers’ sales and production rebounded in the third quarter as the impending holiday season revitalized the diamond market following months of slow sales.

Rough sales totaled 6.6 million carats during the three months ending September 30, a sharp increase from 300,000 carats in the second quarter, parent company Anglo American reported Thursday.

Though sales volume was down 11% year on year, the upturn reflected resurgent demand from diamond manufacturers seeking to fill shortages. The market also benefited from the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in polishing centers and consumer markets, the company explained.

“We have...seen encouraging improvement in demand for rough diamonds as we approach the holiday selling season, although there is still some uncertainty in terms of the timing of a sustained recovery,” Anglo American noted.

In value terms, De Beers’ rough sales rose 10% year on year to $917 million for the three sights that took place during the third quarter, according to Rapaport calculations based on the miner’s reports. Sales picked up slightly at the July sight and strengthened further when De Beers lowered prices in August and September. That followed an unprecedented 96% slump in the second quarter, when the global industry came to a standstill due to Covid-19.

Production slipped 4% year on year to 7.2 million carats in the third quarter as the miner aligned output with demand and kept social-distancing measures in place at its operations. However, the figure was more than double the 3.5 million carats it unearthed in the second quarter.

De Beers maintained its production forecast of 25 million to 27 million carats for the full year, subject to Covid-19 disruptions and the extent of a recovery in demand.

Image: Rough diamonds at De Beers’ offices in Calgary, Canada. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
Tags: Anglo American, Coronavirus, COVID-19, De Beers, Manufacturing, mining, Production, Rapaport News
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