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World number one diamond producer by value De Beers reported a 6.1% dip in rough diamond sales in its eighth sales cycle of the year, bringing its year-to-date sales almost in line with 2019’s total.

De Beers, which is 85% owned by global resources company Anglo American, said sales in the eighth cycle fell to $490m (R7bn) from $522m in the seventh cycle, bringing provisional sales to date to $4.03bn, close to 2019’s $4.04bn.

During 2019, diamond miners had to deal with weak demand and low prices for rough stones, and the group sold only $2.79bn in 2020, falling off dramatically as countries across the world grappled with their first wave of Covid-19. De Beers had sold $5.39bn in 2018.

“As the diamond sector prepares for the key holiday season and US consumer demand for diamond jewellery continues to perform strongly, we saw further robust demand for rough diamonds in the eighth sales cycle of the year ahead of the Diwali holiday, when demand for rough diamonds is likely to be affected by the closure of polishing factories in India,” De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said in a statement on Wednesday.



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