Sourcing

De Beers’ Rough Diamond Sales Near $6B for the Year

SourcingJan 03, 2023

De Beers’ Rough Diamond Sales Near $6B for the Year

Strong jewelry sales and manufacturers’ desire to secure supply with known provenance pushed rough sales to their highest level since 2018.

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De Beers Group sold $410 million in rough diamonds to sightholders and auction customers in its 10th and final sales cycle of the year (Dec. 5-20), pushing its year-end total to nearly $6 billion. (©De Beers Group/Photo credit: Ben Perry @ Armoury Films)
Gaborone, Botswana—De Beers Group’s 2022 rough diamond sales topped $5 billion for the first time in four years, year-end figures released by the company show. 
 
On Dec. 21, De Beers released its results for its final sales cycle of the year, which ran from Dec. 5 to 20.
 
Rough diamond sales totaled $410 million in the period, up 22 percent from $336 million in the same period last year but down about 10 percent when compared with $454 million in November.  
 
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver, who will step down in early 2023, said December sales were in line with expectations, with polishing factories in southern Africa set to close for Christmas and sightholders taking a “prudent” approach to post-holiday restocking and the expected easing of continued COVID restrictions in China.
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
For the year, the company’s rough sales reached $5.79 billion, up 20 percent compared with $4.82 billion in 2021.
 
De Beers said myriad factors drove rough diamond demand this year, including restocking following a blockbuster 2021 holiday season, demand for diamond jewelry continuing to outpace pre-pandemic levels, and manufacturers’ desire to secure supply—particularly supply with “assured provenance”—in an “uncertain environment.”  
 
When asked how much Russia’s war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions placed on Alrosa impacted its 2022 rough diamond sales, De Beers said, “It’s not really possible to quantify how much influence each factor exerts on our sales as they work together in different combinations, and each different customer holds their own perspective on what aspects influence their respective purchase decisions.”
 
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Alrosa and its now reportedly departing CEO Sergey Ivanov Jr. landed on the U.S. sanctions list the following day.

In March, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order banning the import of non-industrial Russian diamonds, and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) ratcheted up sanctions against Alrosa the following month, a measure that effectively bars U.S. companies from doing business with the diamond miner. 

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