De Beers Group has revealed that its rough diamond sales have taken a nosedive after a successful Christmas trading period for the company.
Provisional figures for its third sales cycle of 2021 have shown a significant decline in sales of rough stones by comparison to the previous cycle.
While the second cycle (22 February-8 March) saw sales of $550 million (£400 million), De Beers took only $440 million (£320 million) in sales in the latest cycle (22 March-6 April).
This represents a decline of one fifth of its total sales from cycle two to cycle three. The company did not seem concerned, however.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, blamed the ongoing pandemic and the expected post-Christmas slump, saying: “Following a good holiday season and that trend continuing during the first quarter of 2021, we have again seen solid demand for rough diamonds as we begin a traditionally quieter period of the year for the diamond industry.
“Sales were in line with expectations and both market sentiment and overall industry conditions remain positive.
“However, with pandemic developments in Europe and Mumbai’s recent lockdown resulting in the Bharat Diamond Bourse being closed, it is clear that we will continue to see challenges relating to Covid-19.”