The price cut De Beers introduced for the November sight (Cycle 9) appears to have generated some movement in the rough diamond market, as the miner sold (provisionally) $390 million at its latest sale. This marks the third straight sight with increasing sales and a 31% jump over the $297 million in sales at the previous sight, though it is still 12% lower than in Cycle 9 a year ago. In any event, we are seeing the first signs of recovery in the rough market, even if De Beers had to provide a catalyst of price reductions - which are said to have started at 3% and went up into the double digits - to stimulate sales.
"With signs of increasing polished price stability, Cycle 9 saw an improvement in sentiment from rough diamond buyers," said Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group. "Global consumer demand for diamond jewelry at the retail level continues to be broadly stable but, with midstream trading conditions still in the process of rebalancing, we offered Sightholders further flexibility during the Sight to provide support." For the year to date, De Beers' rough sales are down approximately 26% at $3.6 billion from $4.85 billion through the first nine cycles in 2018.