2021 Diamond Sales Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels for De Beers, Alrosa

SourcingJan 04, 2022

2021 Diamond Sales Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels for De Beers, Alrosa

The diamond giants finished the year with sales totals topping both 2020 and 2019 levels.

De Beers Group’s rough diamond sales for 2021 neared $5 billion, while Alrosa’s 2021 sales total through November was approaching $4 billion. (©De Beers Group/Photo credit: Ben Perry @ Armoury Films)
New York—De Beers Group and Alrosa, the world’s two largest diamond mining companies, closed out 2021 with sales topping both 2020 and 2019.

In its 10th and final round of sales for the year, held from Dec. 6-21, De Beers reported rough diamond sales totaled $332 million.

That is down 22 percent when compared with the previous sales cycle ($438 million), 27 percent year-over-year ($452 million) and 22 percent from the same period in 2019, pre-pandemic ($426 million), when the market began to pick up following a difficult year.

CEO Bruce Cleaver predicted last month rough sales would slow down again in cycle 10, citing seasonal closures in South Africa. 

But, he noted, De Beers is still closing out the year ahead of 2020 and 2019. 

“Rough diamond demand and midstream sentiment continued to be positive in the final sales cycle of 2021, although as anticipated we saw some impact on sales ahead of the seasonal closure of polishing factories in southern Africa over the Christmas period,” Cleaver said. 

“Nonetheless, despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, our rough diamond sales for the year are higher than what we saw in 2019 before the onset of the pandemic and much higher than our sales in 2020. Consumer demand for diamond jewelry is continuing to perform very well over the key holiday period, so we head toward the new year with positive trading conditions and industry sentiment.”

De Beers’ rough diamond sales totaled $4.82 billion in 2021, up 41 percent when compared with 2020 ($2.81 billion)—a year in which COVID-19 had a significant impact on the miner’s sales and operations—and up 16 percent when compared with 2019.

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Alrosa, meanwhile, recorded its highest monthly sales total since July, moving $334 million in goods in November, including $310 million worth of rough diamonds and $24 million in polished. 

That is down 14 percent from November 2020 ($390.5 million) but up 16 percent when compared with November 2019, pre-pandemic ($287.8 million). 

Deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev said midstream inventories are at low levels due to limited availability of rough and continuously strong consumer demand, particularly for bridal jewelry.

“Market players see increased demand for wedding jewelry and expect this trend to continue unabated in 2022,” he noted.

Year-to-date, Alrosa’s diamond sales have totaled $3.92 billion, which means it has already topped sales totals for both 2020 ($2.28 billion) and 2019 ($2.97 billion) with one month of reported numbers left to be added. 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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