By Mpho Tebele
Gaborone – De Beers Group says profits were 52 percent higher in the second sales cycle of 2021 year-on-year, as customer demand for precious stones surged after a strong holiday period.
This will be welcomed as good economic news in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa where the company runs several mines.
Last year Botswana, where De Beers conducts annual 10 sales, instituted a travel ban that affected movement from traditional diamond-buying countries such as Belgium, China and India.
Botswana lifted the ban towards the end of 2020, paving way for diamond buyers to visit the Southern African country.
According to De Beers, it sold US$550 million worth of diamonds in the second cycle of 2021 compared with US$663 million in the first cycle and US$362 million in the second cycle of 2020. There are 10 cycles each year.
De Beers Group announced the value of rough diamond sales (Global Sightholder Sales and Auctions) for the second sales cycle of 2021 explaining that owing to the restrictions on the movement of people and products in various jurisdictions around the globe, De Beers Group has continued to implement a more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the second sales cycle of 2021, with the sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.
As a result, De Beers said, the provisional rough diamond sales figure quoted for Cycle 2 represented the expected sales value for the period February 22 to March 8, and remained subject to adjustment based on final completed sales.
De Beers CEO Mr Bruce Cleaver said “We saw the continuation of good rough diamond demand during our second sales cycle of 2021 on the back of positive consumer demand for diamond jewellery. Midstream buyers continued to express healthy demand following better than expected retail sales of diamond jewellery over Christmas, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, with the industry now set to enter what is traditionally a period of lower seasonal demand. While the year has started positively, we recognise ongoing near-term uncertainty in the pace and shape of the recovery.”