Petra Diamonds Sees Steadiness in Rough Sector

Johannesburg: Petra Diamonds’ sales slipped 1% in the third fiscal quarter amid a stable rough market, the miner reported. The company’s sales declined to $119.1 million during the three months that ended March 31, it said Monday, adding that sales volume had jumped 14% to 1.1 million carats.

“We continue to see stabilization, with steady demand across all size ranges, including those affected by demonetization,” said Petra CEO Johan Dippenaar referring to the Indian government’s decision in November to invalidate 86% of the country’s currency notes. The move led to a drop in demand for smaller goods at the end of last year due to a liquidity crunch in the diamond-manufacturing sector.

The company also noted that this quarter had yielded zero revenue from exceptional large diamonds — those that fetched more than $5 million each — compared with $15 million a year ago.

Production for the quarter was relatively steady as well, creeping up to 999,768 carats from 995,905 carats. The company was upbeat about the diamond market, and predicted continued stability in the fourth quarter.

“We continue to witness further evidence of improving retail demand, with some encouraging trends in mainland China, as well as narrowing declines in Hong Kong and Macau,” the company said.