De Beers' rough diamond sales (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales) for the second sales cycle of 2018 stayed strong at $565 million, equivalent to sight number two a year ago ($553 million). While it fell well short of the first cycle of 2018, this is to be expected as Cycle 1 sales were driven by companies restocking following the holiday season. Actual sales for Cycle 1 of 2018 were also adjusted upward to $672 million from the provisional sales figure of $655 million.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: "The second sales cycle of the year saw the continuation of good rough diamond demand. This was in line with expectations, following strong retail sales of diamond jewellery during the US holiday season and positive early signs for consumer demand over Chinese New Year." De Beers increased prices slightly, according to traders speaking with Rapaport News, but also changed the assortments in boxes to include more high-value goods, resulting in higher expenses for sightholds and sparking concern about profit margins. It appears that upward movement of polished prices has led miners to raise their prices as well. Traders in Hong Kong noted there was good demand for 1- to 2-carat rough, that yields 0.30- to 1-carat polished diamonds, for which there is steady interest from buyers.