Gaborone: De Beers December sight closed with an estimated value of $600 million. Minor adjustments to prices and assortment qualities were reported in different categories, but no significant changes were noted. Sightholders and brokers reported that a large number of boxes were deferred, with the highest estimate of the amount of goods left on the table — reaching 25 percent of the overall sight, reports Rapaport.
“I haven’t seen such a bad mood at a sight for a couple of years now,” said a sightholder from India. He explained that sightholders had already complained at the previous two De Beers sights that prices were too high to polish diamonds with a profit. The sightholder added, “”We didn’t see any reaction on De Beers part so we were left with no option but to leave the goods on the table [at the December sight].”
Anglo American, De Beers parent company, stated in a recent presentation to investors that overall rough prices have increased 7 percent for the year to date.
The negative sentiment at the sight reflected the mood in the rough market at large. Weak demand from manufacturers was also on display at ALROSA’s final sale of the year, which occurred concurrently with the De Beers sight from December 8 to 12. Market participants said that overall prices at the ALROSA sale declined a bit.
Notably, De Beers temporarily relaxed sightholder rules at the December sight to allow manufacturers that operate under beneficiation agreements in southern African nations to defer up to half the goods they had planned to buy in December to the first sight of 2014. Alternatively, these manufacturers could choose to defer one box per rough category within a six-month period, as is traditionally the case.
De Beers said it had adjusted the rules in response to feedback from these manufacturers and that they would not be able to meet their plant production targets set earlier in the year in their intention to offer (ITO) agreements.