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Strong demand sends De Beers sales soaring

De Beers’ rough-diamond sales surged to $660 million in January as manufacturers replenished inventory following a solid holiday season.

The total was on a par with the $663 million the miner garnered a year earlier and 96% higher than the $336 million it reported in December, De Beers said Wednesday. The rise came amid a steep hike in rough prices at the sale.

“As anticipated, there was strong growth in consumer demand for diamond jewelry over the end-of-year holiday season,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver. “As a result, we saw the continuation of robust rough-diamond demand in the first sales cycle of the year as buyers focus on restocking depleted inventory.”

Smaller rough saw the sharpest increases of up to 15% at the January 17 to February 1 sight, Rapaport News reported last month. Meanwhile, larger stones climbed 5% to 12% in many categories. De Beers extended the sight beyond its normal one-week duration, it said.

The miner’s price rises are the result of continued buoyant polished sales together with a hot rough market, as supply remains lower than demand.

De Beers will hold it second sight of the year from February 21 to 25. – (

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