Lockdowns and travel restrictions have heavily dented De Beers Group’s sales and production, with the company’s first-half revenues plummeting 54 per cent to US$1.2 billion from US$2.6 billion a year ago.
Rough diamond sales fell to US$1 billion from US$2.3 billion last year while volume decreased by 45 per cent to 8.5 million carats as the Covid-19 crisis continue to batter the global diamond industry.
Rough diamond production reached 11.3 million carats as of June 30, down 27 per cent from 15.6 million carats in 2019, primarily due to virus-induced lockdowns in southern Africa.
“Rough diamond sales have also been materially affected by lockdowns and travel restrictions, delaying the shipping of rough diamonds into cutting and trading centres and preventing buyers from attending sales events,” noted De Beers. “China has seen strong diamond jewellery sales post-lockdown, with sales for May and June above those for the comparable periods last year. Recovery in the US will be dependent on the reopening of its economy.”