De Beers: Rough diamond demand to soar

2011-09-19 08:20

Hong Kong  - Diamond producer De Beers expects global demand growth for rough diamonds to set a new record this year on the exceptionally strong performance of its key US market and robust demand in China and India, the head of the company's distribution arm said.

Despite global volatility and concerns that the global economy is sliding towards another financial crisis, demand for diamonds was unlikely to be badly impacted because of its safe-haven appeal, Diamond Trading Co (DTC) Chief Executive Varda Shine told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

"Taking the United States, China and India, and the Gulf, which is growing very nicely, we believe this year's demand is going to grow by probably the highest number since we started recording," Shine said during a three day visit to Hong Kong, without giving a specific forecast.

The diamond miner, which controls about 40% of the market for rough or unpolished diamonds, forecast growth for the US market at about 8% - 9% for the full year, exceeding a previous forecast of 7%.

De Beers is 45% owned by mining group Anglo American [JSE:AGL], 40% by South Africa's Oppenheimer family and 15% by the Botswana government.