De Beers november sight estimated at $550M

Ronen Shnidman

De Beers November sight closed with an estimated value of $550 million. Minor adjustments to prices and assortments were reported in different categories.  Sightholders observed  that while the adjustments made by De Beers slightly improved the profitability of some boxes, certain categories still cannot be manufactured into polished diamonds at a profit.

The mood at the sight was not positive because polished prices have not stabilized and it was soon after Diwali, so the factories are just starting up again,” said a sightholder from India.

Diwali took place on October 23 this year, ahead of the sight which ran November 3 to 7. The diamond industry in India closed for an extended vacation over the festival, with normal trading and production activity resuming only this week. Polished prices continued to decline during the festival with the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 1-carat laboratory-graded diamonds down 2.2 percent in October.

Some sightholders expressed disappointment that De Beers did not reduce overall prices at the sight given the continued decline in polished prices. A sightholder from Israel stressed that the market was challenging for manufacturers and that he rejected some supply. He noted that his current rough purchases are geared toward ensuring that his factories have enough polished ready when retailers begin to restock their stores after the Christmas shopping season.

Sightholders and brokers said refusals and box deferrals at the sight were noticeable, as was the case in October, but they did not reach significant levels. Some ex-plan goods was sold at the sight.

David Johnson, the head of midstream communications for De Beers, said that the November sight had been similar to the October sight in terms of prices and assortment quality, with the volume supply in line with expectations.

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Source Rapaport