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De Beers Sales Slide as Market Weakness Persists

June 26, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich
A De Beers Sightholder examining rough diamonds Botswana image

Proceeds at De Beers’ fifth rough-sales cycle of the year continued to fall amid economic challenges in China and the start of a traditionally slow period for the industry. 

The miner brought in $315 million in June, down 31% versus the equivalent period in 2023, it said Wednesday. That figure is also 18% lower than the $383 million the company reported at its May cycle and 29% lower than April’s total. 

At the previous sight, De Beers reduced prices for smaller rough in an effort to ensure sales volume would not drop too drastically. However, the miner made no changes to prices at the June sight, resulting in some deferrals and refusals, sources told Rapaport News

De Beers still expects the market to take a few years to recover, with the slowdown continuing in the short term, it noted. 

“The northern summer is generally a quieter period for rough-diamond sales, and this was reflected in our cycle 5 sales,” said De Beers CEO Al Cook. “The recent annual JCK jewelry show in Las Vegas confirmed a 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.” 

The figures included the June 10 to 14 sight in Botswana as well as auction sales. De Beers’ next sight is scheduled to run from July 22 to 26. 

Last month, parent company Anglo American announced it planned to offload De Beers as part of a strategy to create more value in its business. The move followed several offers by BHP to purchase the entirety of Anglo’s business, all of which were turned down. 

Image: A sightholder examining rough. (De Beers)

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A De Beers Sightholder examining rough diamonds Botswana image De Beers Sales Slide as Market Weakness Persists

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