Uptick for De Beers as sec­tor stocks up

Business Day - - COMPANIES - Al­lan Sec­combe Re­sources Writer sec­combea@bdfm.co.za

De Beers, the largest pro­ducer of rough di­a­monds by value, re­ported an in­crease in its sec­ond-last sale of 2017 as the cut­ting and pol­ish­ing sec­tor stocked up ahead of the yearend sales.

De Beers recorded sales of $455m for the ninth of 10 an­nual sales, com­pared with $376m for the eighth sale and $476m for the match­ing pe­riod in 2016.

“Fol­low­ing a sea­son­ally qui­eter pe­riod for rough di­a­mond sales, Cy­cle 9 saw an uptick in de­mand from our cus­tomers as re­tail or­ders in­crease ahead of the Christ­mas sea­son,” said CEO Bruce Cleaver.

The eighth sale was un­usu­ally low be­cause of hol­i­days in In­dia, which has the largest di­a­mond cut­ting and pol­ish­ing in­dus­try. It was the low­est sale in the two years of sales data pro­vided by De Beers.

It has re­alised $4.845bn in rough di­a­mond sales so far in 2017, com­pared with $5.165bn for the same pe­riod in 2016.

De Beers, which is 85% owned by Anglo Amer­i­can, in­creased pro­duc­tion 29% in the first nine months of 2017 to 25.3-mil­lion carats. It set its ful­lyear tar­get at 33-mil­lion carats, the top end of an ear­lier es­ti­mate that started at 31-mil­lion carats.

Di­a­mond out­put in the third quar­ter rose 46% to 9.2-mil­lion carats “in line with the higher pro­duc­tion fore­cast for 2017, re­flect­ing sta­ble trad­ing con­di­tions as well as the con­tri­bu­tion from the ramp-up of Gah­cho Kué in Canada”, it said in Oc­to­ber. The fi­nal sale of 2016 re­alised $422m for De Beers.

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