De Beers reported a fall in rough sales for a third consecutive month as India’s Covid crisis hit midstream capacity.
Provisional sales at its fourth sight of 2021 were $380m, the lowest this year. Sales in January peaked at $663m, a three-year-high. They fell to $550m in February and again to $450m in March.
De Beers said it was still offering sight holders increased flexibility and had extended the sight in Gabarone beyond its normal week, amid ongoing travel restrictions.
Last year’s April and May sights, rolled into one because of the pandemic, brought in a total of $56m by comparison
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said demand remained strong in the US and China consumer markets.
“However, the scale of the second wave of Covid-19 in India, where the majority of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished, has led to reduced midstream capacity and subsequently lower rough diamond demand, during what is already a seasonally slower time of year for midstream purchases,” he said.
“Our thoughts are with all those in India as the country navigates the current challenges presented by the pandemic.”