De Beers Group (provisionally) sold $530 million in rough diamonds during the sixth Cycle of 2018, representing a 9% decline from the $581 million sold during the previous cycle, and an 8% drop compared to the same period a year ago. The company attributed the slowdown to a seasonal decline rather than any structural change to demand, having remarked recently that the outlook for 2018 global consumer demand remains positive in most of the main diamond-consuming countries, based on world economic prospects, positive consumer sentiment and continued investment in marketing.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: "In the sixth sales cycle of the year, demand for De Beers rough diamonds was in line with expectations during the seasonally quieter summer period for the industry’s midstream sector," particularly with the Antwerp industry entering its summer recess. De Beers has seen a slight uptick in revenues during the first half of the year, to $3.2 billion from $3.1 billion, though its rough-diamond sales were flat in the first half of the year at $2.9 billion. The company's H1 2018 average realised rough diamond price increased by 4% to US$162/carat (H1 2017: US$156/carat) due to a 1.6 percent increase in the average rough price index and an improvement in the sales mix, they recently noted.