July 16, 2020 (MLN): Anglo American De Beers, the largest brand of diamond sector, sold almost no gems in the second quarter of 2020, as the coronavirus enforced lockdowns has hit the sector severely.
The world’s biggest producer by value sold only $56 million of rough diamonds, which was down by around 96% when compared to $1.3 billion of rough diamonds sold in the same quarter last year, indicating that coronavirus has been taking a heavy toll on the sector.
With the closure of all stores due to lockdowns, Cutters, polishers stuck at home and global travel at a standstill, the entire diamond industry essentially came to a halt in the period.
De Beers has made major concessions to its normal sales rules, allowing customers to renege on contracts and view diamonds in alternative locations. Crucially, though, it has refused to cut prices. While the company’s average selling price fell 21% in the first half to $119 a carat, that was mostly from mining and selling cheaper stones, reported Bloomberg.
Still, the miner is sticking with its plan to produce between 25 million and 27 million carats this year, but said the target was “subject to continuous review based on the disruptions related to Covid-19 as well as the timing and scale of the recovery in demand, it added.
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