De Beers, a subsidiary of the global diversified miner, Anglo American plc, said rough auction sales had fallen to $250million (R3.56billion) in the sixth sales cycle of 2019 from $391m in the fifth sales cycle.
The sixth sales cycle was 53percent lower than $530m from the corresponding cycle of the previous financial year.
Due to the lower demand for polished diamonds, De Beers said it had allowed its customers to defer purchases from the July sight to other sales later this year. De Beers holds 10 sight holder sales in Botswana every year and requires customers to show certain levels of demand at sights. De Beers chief executive, Bruce Cleaver, said yesterday that the company’s customers were being squeezed by the global economic turbulence.
“With ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, retailers managing inventory levels, and polished diamond inventories in the midstream continuing to be higher than normal. De Beers Group provided customers with additional flexibility to defer some of their rough diamond allocations to later in the year,” Cleaver said in a statement. The diamond sellers are feeling the pinch as increasingly orders for diamonds are smaller than they used to be.