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Diamond sales by Anglo’s De Beers drop to lowest this year

Nov 15 2016 11:27
Ana Monteiro
Rough diamonds and diamond sorting  or grading at

Rough diamonds and diamond sorting or grading at the Harry Oppenheimer House in Kimberley, South Africa. (Vismedia)

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Johannesburg - De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer, said sales of the gems at its most recent auction fell to the lowest this year.

The company, owned by Anglo American [JSE:AGL], sold $470m of diamonds in the ninth cycle, compared with $494m at its previous offering, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The diamond industry is seasonal, with the holiday period from Thanksgiving in November through the Lunar New Year in Asia in January or early February typically the busiest period for jewelry sales. De Beers’ customers tend to buy more rough stones earlier in the year to prepare for this period.

“The ninth sales cycle of 2016 showed continued good demand for De Beers’s rough diamonds, with sales in line with expected seasonal demand patterns,” Chief Executive Officer Bruce Cleaver said.

While rough-diamond prices gained 7.4% this year, Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani and other executives have cautioned that the final six months of 2016 could be more difficult for the industry.

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