De Beers sold rough diamonds with a value of $720 million in the first sales cycle (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales) of 2017, indicating strong demand as the industry replenishes inventory.
The figure compares with $545 million in the year-earlier sale, and $422 million in the final sale of 2016 held last month.
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “We saw good demand across the majority of our assortment during the first sales cycle of the year, as the industry entered the period when rough diamond demand is traditionally strongest. The longer period between the final Sight of 2016 and the first Sight of 2017 also contributed to heightened demand during the cycle.
“While the reopening of some diamond polishing operations in India saw something of an increase in demand for smaller, lower quality rough diamonds, we maintain a cautious outlook for these categories as the Indian industry continues to adjust to the post-demonetization environment.”