De Beers sales volume grew by more than 50 percent in 2016 as lower rough prices and depleted polished inventories drove a resurgence in demand.
The company's rough sales jumped to 32 million carats last year, parent company Anglo American reported. De Beers previously reported it sold 19.9 million carats in 2015 when demand plummeted due to oversupply and inflated prices. De Beers average price subsequently dropped 10 percent to $187 per carat last year.
“The [sales] increases reflect the improved trading conditions from those experienced in the second half of 2015,” Anglo American said.
While De Beers sold more diamonds than the previous year, the company reduced production levels by 5 percent to 27.3 million carats despite an increase in the fourth quarter.
Rough sales more than doubled to 8 million carats in the final three months of the year, with production increasing by 10 percent, reflecting an increase toward full output at the new Gahcho Kué mine in Canada.