Weak market pulls down De Beers sales

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Total sales for 2024 stand at $1.9 billion, which is 20% lower than the same period for 2023

Due to the economic challenges experienced in China and the start of a traditionally slow trading period in the diamond industry, De Beers sales for cycle 5 has suffered a decline.

The figures included the June 10 to 14 sights in Botswana as well as auction sales.

The rough diamonds sales went down to a provisional figure of $315 million in June which is a 31 percent decline when compared to the same cycle in 2023.

Further, the sales performance indicates an 18 percent decrease from the $383 million in sales recorded in Cycle 4 in May and a further 29 percent lower than Cycle 3’s $456 million haul.

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Collectively, the 2024 total sales are 20 percent lower than the 2023 sales for the same period.

In 2023, the collective sales after five cycles stood at $2.4 billion while in 2024, they stand at $1.9 billion.

As the diamond industry continues to struggle, De Beers took a drastic decision during cycle 4 to reduce prices for smaller rough diamonds in order to prevent sales volumes from dropping down.

However, that has not worked as evidenced by the decline in sales.

According to De Beers Chief Executive Officer AI Cook, they expect the slowdown to continue in the short term while the market itself will take few years to recover fully.

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“The northern summer is generally a quieter period for rough-diamond sales, and this was reflected in our cycle 5 sales. The recent annual JCK jewellery show in Las Vegas confirmed resurgence in retailers’ interest in natural diamonds in the US, but ongoing economic growth challenges in China mean we continue to expect a protracted U-shaped recovery in demand,” reflected Cook. De Beers’ next sight is scheduled to run from July 22 to 26.

Anglo American-De Beers’s parent company is in the process of selling De Beers as parts of its strategy to create more value in its business.

Instead, what has happened has been several attempts by BHP to purchase the whole of Anglo-American business instead of the diamond wing.

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