Strong jewelry sales and manufacturers’ desire to secure supply with known provenance pushed rough sales to their highest level since 2018
De Beers Group’s 2022 rough diamond sales topped $5 billion for the first time in four years, year-end figures released by the company show.
On Dec. 21, De Beers released its results for its final sales cycle of the year, which ran from Dec. 5 to 20.
Rough diamond sales totaled $410 million in the period, up 22 percent from $336 million in the same period last year but down about 10 percent when compared with $454 million in November.
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver, who will step down in early 2023, said December sales were in line with expectations, with polishing factories in southern Africa set to close for Christmas and sightholders taking a “prudent” approach to post-holiday restocking and the expected easing of continued COVID restrictions in China.
For the year, the company’s rough sales reached $5.79 billion, up 20 percent compared with $4.82 billion in 2021.
De Beers said myriad factors drove rough diamond demand this year, including restocking following a blockbuster 2021 holiday season, demand for diamond jewelry continuing to outpace pre-pandemic levels, and manufacturers’ desire to secure supply—particularly supply with “assured provenance”—in an “uncertain environment.”
When asked how much Russia’s war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions placed on Alrosa impacted its 2022 rough diamond sales, De Beers said, “It’s not really possible to quantify how much influence each factor exerts on our sales as they work together in different combinations, and each different customer holds their own perspective on what aspects influence their respective purchase decisions.”