De Beers reported rough diamond sales of $545 million in February as demand remained steady from the beginning of the year.
Sightholders noted an improvement in market conditions for the first two months of the year, particularly after Indian demand slumped in November due to the government’s demonetization policy.
Manufacturing has returned to normal, and the effect of demonetization has stabilized, explained a Mumbai-based dealer.
Demand for lower-quality, smaller rough, which was particularly affected by the Indian crisis, rebounded this month, sightholders observed. These goods are now selling at near-double-digit premiums on the secondary market after De Beers sold fewer goods in November and December and reduced prices in January.
De Beers prices firmed by about 1 percent on average, sightholders estimated, while premiums decreased for most categories on the dealer market.
“We continued to see good demand across our product range in the second sales cycle, which was in line with expectations at this time of year,” said Bruce Cleaver, De Beers chief executive officer. “Sentiment remains positive heading into the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show this week – an important barometer of trade confidence.”
De Beers sales in the first two months of the year increased 10 percent to $1.27 billion, according to Rapaport records, after the company restated the size of its January sale to $729 million. Sales in February were 12 percent lower than a year ago.
The next sight starts on March 27 and is the final sight of the contract year.