The Diamond Trading Company’s (DTC) May sight achieved an estimated value of $520 million. The De Beers distribution unit made slight adjustments on its prices, by increasing some boxes while decreasing others.
Louise Prior, the head of sightholder services and communications for DTC, noted that while the adjustments were minor, the overall price trend was up as polished demand has been steady. “We are seeing encouraging signs from the U.S., while demand from China and India continues to drive growth,” Prior said.
Sight participants were less enthusiastic and some stressed that there is no room for rough price increases at the moment. “The adjustments were not well accepted as people are not really making money at the moment,” one sight participant said. “I wouldn’t say they are losing but it’s just not [profitable] at the moment.”
Sightholders noted that there is relatively little activity in the secondary markets and DTC boxes are trading at low premiums of around 3 percent to 4 percent. There is some demand for Indian goods but no category stands out as particularly strong at the moment.
The May sight had roughly the same value as the previous sight in March; however, it was 25 percent below the estimated sight value of one year ago. Rapaport estimates indicate that DTC sales fell 16 percent year on year during the first four months of the year. De Beers earlier reported that production in the first quarter fell 16 percent to 6.2 million carats.
The sight was the first of the new three-year contract between DTC and its new list of sightholders.