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De Beers Sparkles Despite Rough Diamond Sales Dip: Eyes on Gradual Recovery Amid Economic Uncertainty

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De Beers, a diamond subsidiary of Anglo American, has recently reported a noteworthy rise in diamond revenues despite a decline in rough sales during its latest sales cycle.

In comparison to previous cycles, the seventh sales cycle of 2023, held between August 14 and 29, saw a decrease in sales, generating only $370 million. This marked a drop from the $411 million and $456 million recorded in preceding cycles, and a significant decline from the seventh cycle of 2022, which yielded $638 million.

CEO Al Cook attributed this decline in revenues to the prevailing macroeconomic climate, which has impacted the demand for diamond jewelry in key consumer markets. Factors such as a slow retail recovery in China and a voluntary import moratorium on rough diamonds into India during extended Diwali holidays and factory closures have contributed to this downturn. Responding to these conditions, De Beers continued to limit the availability of rough diamonds in the ninth sales cycle of 2023.Despite these challenges, De Beers has maintained its support for Sightholders, offering full purchase flexibility as the midstream seeks to restore balance between wholesale supply and demand.

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In the second sales cycle of 2024, De Beers achieved sales totaling $430 million in rough diamonds.While this figure surpasses the $374 million in rough diamond sales recorded in the first quarter of the year, it falls short of the $497 million achieved in the second sales cycle of 2023.

Al Cook expressed satisfaction with the increase in demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds in the second sales cycle of 2024.

However, he acknowledged ongoing economic uncertainty in the US, leading retailers to adopt a conservative approach to restocking following the 2023 holiday season. While consumer demand for diamond jewelry is gradually rising in India, it remains sluggish in China. Cook anticipates a gradual recovery in rough diamond demand throughout the year as economic conditions evolve.

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