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JOHANNESBURG - De Beers, the world’s biggest rough diamond producer by value, reported that sales for the third cycle of 2018 had slumped 8percent to $520million (R6.27billion). 

The third sales cycle was lower than the $563m recorded in the previous cycle, and plummeted by 11percent in the same period last year when sales came at $586m, the Anglo American plc subsidiary said yesterday. 

The figures included sight and other sales, including auctions. Despite the lower figures, Bruce Cleaver, De Beers chief executive, was optimistic about the sales trajectory. “While the second quarter of the year is traditionally a seasonally slower period, we continued to see good rough diamond demand in the third sales cycle of 2018 as diamond businesses have focused on restocking following healthy consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the US and China.” 

Seleho Tsatsi, an investment analyst at Noah Capital Markets, said that in the year-to-date the value of the De Beers sales cycles figures was 6percent lower than at the same time last year. De Beers had outlined the second quarter of the year as being a traditionally slower period.