De Beers May Cut Diamond Prices 7% at Sight

De Beers sortingGaborone: Bloomberg Business, citing three unnamed insiders, reports that De Beers cut rough diamond prices as much as 7% at its first sight of the year as the biggest producer works to counter slowing demand. De Beers plans to offer about $450 million of diamonds for sale, one said. A company spokesman declined to comment.

Slower diamond jewelry sales in China and a credit crunch in the industry have sapped demand. That’s left cutters and traders with excess stockpiles, and forced the biggest producers to cut output and prices, writes Bloomberg. Diamond prices sank 18% last year, according to data from U.K.-based WWW International Diamond Consultants. “Rough and polished prices may need to go a good deal lower before they may be able to recover because with such an inventory overhang rough buying will likely be muted,” ABN Amro Group NV said in a research report on Tuesday.

We reiterate that these are initial indications as De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier stated at Anglo American’s December 8 Investor Day Presentation that, “I am very pleased to announce that we would like to increase the transparency of De Beers, and starting with the first sight in 2016 we will communicate after each sight the sales of each sight, so that you don’t rely on rumors and you will understand exactly where we are.”