De Beers Reduces Prices 3%.
The Diamond Trading Company’s (DTC) July sight had an estimated value of $420 million before deferments or ex-plan, as De Beers reduced prices slightly. At press time, DTC sightholders were expected to reject goods to be offered, which would reduce the value of the sight.
While DTC reduced prices by approximately 3 percent, affecting most categories of goods, sightholders continued to complain that the goods offer no profitability. “Three percent doesn’t really matter when you’re losing up to 20 percent on your boxes,” said one sightholder.
Another sight participant noted that there is very little trading of DTC boxes as sightholders are not prepared to lose money given that they are selling at double-digit discounts on the secondary market.
Sightholders have started to reject DTC allocations due as De Beers kept its prices steady while the market weakened. DTC subsequently notified sightholders in June that they could defer up to 50 percent of their July sight target to any other sight in the current intention to offer (ITO) period that ends in March 2013.
In addition, DTC has offered sightholders the opportunity to take additional goods, or ex-plan, at the sight. “Some will take the extra goods because it helps build their position for later in the contract period,” said one rough market observer.
Rough prices have softened on the secondary market and at tenders of other mining companies in the past two months, raising concerns among sightholders that DTC prices are well above market prices. Harry Winston, which owns 40 percent of the Diavik mine in Canada, reported this week that prices have dropped by an estimated 8 percent since April.
De Beers is scheduled to report its financial results for the first half of 2012 on Friday. Rapaport estimates that DTC sales fell 19 percent to approximately $2.83 billion during the period.