De Beers Group reported improving demand for rough diamonds during its seventh sales cycle of 2020, owing to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in August and September in various markets.
Rough diamond sales reached US$320 million in cycle 7, up from US$116 million in cycle 6. Cycle 7 sales in 2019 reached US$287 million.
Apart from more relaxed business restrictions, manufacturers also focused on meeting retail demand for polished diamonds, particularly in certain product areas, according to Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group.
“Overall industry sentiment has become more positive as jewellers in the key US and Chinese consumer markets gained confidence ahead of the important year-end holiday season, supported by strong bridal diamond jewellery demand across markets,” noted Cleaver. “Accordingly, we saw a recovery in rough diamond demand in the seventh sales cycle of the year, reflecting these retail trends.”
Recovery however is at an early stage, he continued, adding that it may take some time to get back to pre-Covid-19 levels of demand.
Citing restrictions on the movement of people and products around the globe, De Beers Group maintained flexible purchasing terms during the cycles in review, with the normal week-long Sight events extended towards near-continuous sales.
Cycle 7 2020 figures represent sales from August 19 to September 10 while those of cycle 6 reflect sales from July 27 to August 13.