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De Beers Sales Show Mixed Trend in Uncertain Market

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JOSHUA FREEDMAN • 17-11-2022

De Beers brought in $450 million at its latest sales cycle as the rough market showed a seasonal slowdown and global sentiment remained uncertain.

The total for the session — which ran from October 31 to November 4 — was 11% lower than for the previous sale in September, according to numbers De Beers released on Wednesday. Sales rose 3% compared with the equivalent period of 2021.

The figures reflect weakness in the rough market relative to previous months, as global inflation, higher interest rates and China’s Covid-19 policy have dented consumer sentiment. In light of this, De Beers let sightholders sell up to 20% of their purchases in 1-carat and larger rough categories back to the miner, compared with a usual allowance of 10%, market insiders told Rapaport News. The company’s sales results exclude the diamonds involved in these “buybacks.”

“We saw good demand for our rough diamonds during cycle 9, with sales reflecting what is traditionally a quieter time for the diamond midstream ahead of polishing factories reopening in India following the Diwali holidays,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver.

The proceeds included the October-November sight in addition to auction revenues.

Image: A rough diamond under analysis at sightholder KGK’s premises in Botswana. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)

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