De Beers’ rough-diamond sales rose to $580 million in its third sales cycle of the year amid positive sentiment in the market, the miner reported.
Sales grew 5% from a revised figure of $553 million in the second cycle, but were 13% below last year’s March sale.
De Beers sales have reached $1.86 billion since the start of the year, a 2% increase from the same period last year, according to Rapaport records. The rise was largely due to a 34% jump in January sales, which came to $729 million as rough demand improved following a liquidity crunch in India at the end of 2016.
“We saw the continuation of good rough-diamond demand in cycle three across the product range,” De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said in a statement Tuesday. “This reflected positive sentiment from our customers following the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in March.”
Sightholders reported strong demand for De Beers goods on the secondary dealer market, with boxes selling at 5% to 10% premiums over the list price.
De Beers holds 10 rough sales, or sights, per year in Gaborone, Botswana. The latest sales figure includes last week’s sight as well as other rough sales during the cycle.
The March sight was the last of the contract year — the period at the beginning of which sightholders provide an intention-to-offer (ITO), or an indication of how much rough they intend to buy in the coming year.
During the upcoming ITO period, which starts with the next sight, international sightholders will receive a lower supply of rough than they forecast for the 2016-17 ITO year, since De Beers is allocating a larger proportion of goods to its beneficiation and government partners, the company explained to Rapaport News.
The next sight will take place from May 8 to 12.