De Beers' third sight of 2018 (Cycle 3) was easily its largest of the year thus far, provisionally realizing $575 million in rough diamond sales, a figure the miner has not reached since their Cycle 5 sale in June 2018. "As we move into the second quarter of the year, we saw a continuation of stable demand for our rough diamonds during the third cycle of 2019," commented Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group. De Beers' sales in Cycle 3 was 16% higher than the $496 million earned in Cycle 2, and 10% more than the $524 million in Cycle 3 2018. For the year to date, the Group's $1.57 billion in sales is still lagging 11% behind the $1.76 billion in sales over the first three sales a year ago.
The question to ask is whether this was a final push before the new intention-to-offer (ITO) period comes into effect next month. As Rapaport News reported yesterday, De Beers' rough supply is slated to decline for the rest of 2019 as the miner lowers its diamond output and honors its commitment to supply the manufacturing sectors in the African countries where it operates. The quantity of goods is thus set to drop during the next ITO period, which will run from May through December and consist of seven sales. Also worthy of note is that sightholders communicated to Rapaport that lower supply will be felt particularly among diamonds in the larger size category, precisely where demand is currently the strongest.