De Beers, the largest producer of rough diamonds by value, reported an increase in its second-last sale of 2017 as the cutting and polishing sector stocked up ahead of the year-end sales.
De Beers recorded sales of $455m for the ninth of 10 annual sales, compared with $376m for the eighth sale and $476m for the matching period in 2016.
"Following a seasonally quieter period for rough diamond sales, Cycle 9 saw an uptick in demand from our customers as retail orders increase ahead of the Christmas season," said CEO Bruce Cleaver.
The eighth sale was unusually low because of holidays in India, which has the largest diamond cutting and polishing industry. It was the lowest sale in the two years of sales data provided by De Beers.
It has realised $4.845bn in rough diamond sales so far in 2017, compared with $5.165bn for the same period in 2016.
De Beers, which is 85% owned by Anglo American, increased production 29% in the first nine months of 2017 to 25.3-million carats. It set its full-year target at 33-million carats, the top end of an earlier estimate that started at 31-million carats.
Diamond output in the third quarter rose 46% to 9.2-million carats "in line with the higher production forecast for 2017, reflecting stable trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué in Canada", it said in October. The final sale of 2016 realised $422m for De Beers.