De Beers’ rough sales slowed again this month as the market entered the holiday period and rough remained relatively expensive.
The miner grossed $410 million at its 10th and final sales cycle of the year, which included the December sight, it reported Wednesday. Sales declined 10% compared with the previous session in October and November, but rose 22% versus December 2021. The last sight saw a similar mixed trend.
Sightholders expected a large proportion of De Beers’ goods to remain on the table at the sight, as China’s slowdown and the high cost of rough had dented demand. The miner has not made substantial price decreases during the recent slump, and it kept rates steady at the December sale, market insiders told Rapaport News.
“Demand for our rough diamonds over the final sales cycle of 2022 was in line with expectations, ahead of the normal seasonal closure of polishing factories in southern Africa over the Christmas period and with sightholders taking a prudent approach ahead of restocking after Christmas and the expected reopening of the China market,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver.
Image: An employee holding rough diamonds at De Beers’ South Africa sightholder sales operation in Kimberley. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)