Petra Diamonds’ rough prices increased at its latest tender as the market benefited from a rebound in China and steady polished demand from high-end jewelers.
The March trading session brought in $72.1 million from the sale of 505,398 carats, with like-for-like prices gaining 12.5% versus December, the miner reported Wednesday. Of the total, $7 million came from one exceptional stone from the Cullinan mine in South Africa.
“We ascribe the positive pricing trends to a recovery in demand from China as Covid-19 restrictions continue to dissipate, coupled with a more buoyant outlook from the recent Hong Kong International Jewellery Show,” said Petra CEO Richard Duffy. “Stronger demand from major jewelry brands has also supported prices for smaller goods. Solid demand for colored stones across all size ranges was evident in this cycle, leading to improved pricing.”
The sales value was 71% higher than December’s $42.3 million but 49% less than the equivalent tender a year earlier, which occurred in February 2022. The sales volume was 31% lower by the latter comparison.
Rough diamonds in the 2- to 5-carat sizes increased 3.5% versus December, Petra added. Overall prices for all categories dropped 12% relative to February 2022, reflecting a spike when the Russia-Ukraine conflict began, management explained.
“We continue to expect a supportive diamond market in the medium- to longer-term as a result of the structural supply deficit,” Duffy said. “Current levels of demand remain robust, though we are cognizant of possible near-term volatility owing to recent geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty.”
Image: The Cullinan mine in South Africa. (Petra Diamonds)