Global mining company, De Beers says it expects to report $650 million in rough diamond sales for its first cycle of 2021, following strong diamond jewellery sales.
De Beers, which holds ten sales cycles in a year in Gaborone, says that the Sales of rough diamonds are also being supported by expected demand ahead of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Bruce Cleaver – the group Chief Executive – says the with the midstream starting the year with low levels of rough and polished inventories, and following strong sales of diamond jewellery over the key holiday season in the US, the company saw good demand for rough diamonds at the first cycle of the year as midstream customers sought to restock and to fill orders from retail businesses.
“While risks to recovery as a result of ongoing restrictions on the movement of both people and goods persist, we have been encouraged by demand conditions”, Clever said this week.
De Beers, which is owned by Anglo American (85%) and Botswana (15%), says owing to COVID-19 restrictions on the movement of people and products in various jurisdictions around the globe, it has continued to implement a more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the first sales cycle of 2021, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.
“As a result, the provisional rough diamond sales figure quoted for Cycle 1 represents the expected sales value for the period 18 January to 02 February and remains subject to adjustment based on final completed sales,” reads part of the Anglo American statement sent to the capital markets this week.
The coronavirus outbreak has been traced to China, the world’s second-biggest economy, where the malaise was first noted in late December 2019. The impact of the COVID 19 sponsored diamond crisis has been largely felt in both 2019 and 2020 with Botswana’s trade deficit widening, and the government has since projected further budget deficits.
According to the latest trade data, Botswana’s total export value dropped by 16.5% (P976.0 million) in November 2020 from the revised figure of P5, 925.2 million recorded for October 2020 to P4, 949.2 million. The decrease is mostly attributed to the decline in the value of Diamonds exports by 17.3% (P924.8 million) from P5, 349.0 million to P4, 424.2 million.