Sourcing

De Beers’ Sales Slide in Fourth Round of Sales This Year

SourcingMay 24, 2024

De Beers’ Sales Slide in Fourth Round of Sales This Year

The company sold $380 million in rough diamonds, compared with $479 million in the same period last year.

Stock image of a diamond engagement ring
De Beers Group’s latest round of rough diamond sales totaled $380 million, down 21 percent year-over-year. The company expects natural diamond sales to remain challenging in the near future but anticipates an uptick in engagements in the coming years. (©De Beers Group/Photo credit: Ben Perry @ Armoury Films)
Gaborone, Botswana—De Beers Group’s rough diamond sales declined in the fourth sales cycle of the year, falling 21 percent year-over-year.

The company reported Thursday that its latest round of sales totaled $380 million, down from $479 million in the fourth sales cycle of 2023.

De Beers’ sales also fell 15 percent in comparison with the third sales cycle of 2024, when they totaled $446 million.

Year-to-date, De Beers sales fell slightly more behind last year following the fourth sales cycle.

The company’s rough diamond sales are now 17 percent lower than they were at this time last year, totaling $1.63 billion compared with $1.97 billion a year ago.

The slowdown, which CEO Al Cook explained as seasonal in part, comes as De Beers faces myriad issues, including competition from lab-grown diamonds, the complications caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions on Russian diamond miner Alrosa, and an uncertain future when it comes to corporate ownership.

Earlier this month, De Beers’ parent company Anglo American confirmed reports that it is looking to offload the diamond miner and marketer as it turns its attention to “green” energy commodities, like copper. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

In commenting on the results, Cook pointed to quieter trading in India because of the elections—the country’s general elections are taking place now through June 1—and said short-term macroeconomic issues are going to continue to hamper natural diamond demand in the United States.  

However, he expects the engagement ring market to pick up in the coming years as relationships that started post-pandemic blossom into engagements. 

De Beers announced this week that it is collaborating with Signet Jewelers on a marketing campaign that will roll out in Q3 targeting “zillennials,” those born on the cusp of the millennial generation (1981-1996) and Generation Z (1997-2012), with natural diamond messaging.  

Cook said, “As expected, De Beers’ rough diamond sales in the fourth cycle of the year trended lower, in line with the seasonally slower second quarter and a quieter period of trading in India during the elections. 

“The focus of the global diamond industry now turns towards the JCK jewelry show in Las Vegas at the end of May. Demand trends in the U.S. are expected to be driven by short-term macroeconomic issues but supported in coming years by a recovery in engagements as the after-effects of pandemic lockdowns fade.”

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