Sourcing

Recovering Demand in China Boosts De Beers’ Sales

SourcingApr 13, 2023

Recovering Demand in China Boosts De Beers’ Sales

The company’s third-cycle sales totaled $540 million, down only slightly from the same period in a strong 2022.

2021_De Beers rough diamond display.jpg
De Beers Group’s rough diamond sales to sightholders and auction customers totaled $540 million in the third sales cycles of the year, down 5 percent compared with the prior-year period but up 9 percent when compared with the second sales cycles of 2022. (©De Beers Group/Photo credit: Ben Perry @ Armoury Films)
Gaborone, Botswana—After a slower start to the year, De Beers Group’s rough diamond sales picked up in late March through mid-April.

The company announced Wednesday that rough diamond sales in the third sales cycles of 2023 (March 27-April 11) totaled $540 million.

That is down less than 5 percent when compared with the same period in 2022 ($566 million), a relatively small decline considering how strong the company’s sales were last year.

Compared with the second sales cycle of 2023 ($497 million), De Beers’ rough diamond sales were up nearly 9 percent.

New CEO Al Cook said third-cycle sales were in line expectations. He described diamond jewelry demand as “positive,” calling out China specifically.

“We have continued to see good demand for our rough diamonds over the third sales cycle of the year as we move into the second quarter of 2023,” he said. 

“Sales were in line with expectations and we continue to see some encouraging positive trends in consumer demand for diamond jewelry, not least in China where we’re beginning to see some signs of recovery in consumer confidence following the relaxation of travel restrictions.” 

Year-to-date, De Beers’ rough diamond sales have totaled $1.49 billion, lower than they were at this point last year ($1.88 billion). 

 Related stories will be right here … 

De Beers’ announcement of its third cycle sales results comes amid speculation about the future of its relationship with Botswana.

De Beers and the government of Botswana are still operating under a sales agreement that dates to January 2011 and originally was set to expire at the end of 2020.

Under the terms of that agreement, Debswana, the mining company jointly owned by De Beers and the Botswana government, is bound to sell 75 percent of its rough diamond output to De Beers, while the remaining 25 percent is sold through the Okavango Diamond Company, which is owned by the Botswana government.

The two parties have pushed back the agreement’s expiration date three times. The current deadline to reach a new agreement is June. 

De Beers told National Jeweler last week that it continues to work toward a new sales agreement for Debswana diamonds and the Debswana mining licenses.

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