Debswana posts 37.5% jump in 9-month diamond sales

Debswana Diamond Company

Rough diamonds sales by Debswana Diamond Company jumped 37.5% in the first nine months of 2022, statistics released by the Bank of Botswana showed Tuesday, driven by steady demand for jewellery.

A joint venture between Anglo American unit De Beers and Botswana government, Debswana sells 75% of its output to De Beers with the balance taken up by state-owned Okavango Diamond Company.

Debswana’s January-September sales rose to $3.578 billion from $2.602 billion a year earlier, data from the central bank showed.

In Botswana’s pula currency, Debswana’s rough diamond sales rose 52.5% to 43.237 billion pula reflecting a stronger dollar in the period.

In dollar and pula terms, the nine-month sales top the company’s full-year results in 2021 when sales totalled $3.466 billion and 38.134 billion pula.

Debswana accounts for almost all diamonds produced in Botswana with Lucara’s Karowe mine being the only other operating diamond mine in the country.

Botswana generates about 30% of its revenue and 70% of its foreign exchange earnings from diamonds.

However, De Beers sees the risk of the market slowing down in the coming months due to a deterioration in global economic conditions, reduced consumer spending and continued Chinese covid-19 lockdowns.

“In line with normal seasonal trends, we anticipate that sales in the final quarter of the year will be affected by the normal temporary closure of cutting and polishing factories for the religious holidays in India,” parent firm Anglo American said last week.


De Beers banks on ‘diamonds are for me’

DeBeers Diamonds for Me

Anglo American unit De Beers said its 2019 marketing budget will exceed last year’s figure of $170 million and will focus on the biggest market the United States, where women lavishing diamonds on themselves has boosted sales.

While U.S. demand has held firm, the diamond market has weakened elsewhere and trade tensions and protests in Hong Kong have dented sales in China, the second largest diamond market.

But luxury groups see potential for growth in jewelry demand, as shown by LVMH’s nearly $14.5 billion offer, made public on Monday, to buy Tiffany & Co.

Esther Oberbeck, group head of strategy at De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value, said in an interview the company was about to launch new marketing campaigns, focused on the U.S. and China.

She did not specify the budget, but said De Beers’ 2019 spend would exceed last year’s $170 million and was the highest in more than a decade.

The campaigns, which she said would concentrate on “self-purchase and the bridal market”, are based on research carried out for De Beers, published on Monday.

It found the share of U.S. women buying their own engagement ring doubled from 7% to 14% over the five-year period 2013-2017 and that women on average spent a third more than men – $4,400 compared with $3,300.

De Beers sells rough diamonds and jewelry through its Forevermark brand.

Its research anticipates the rough diamond market will recover from a period of oversupply as some mines reach their end of their lives, notably Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia.

Global consumer demand for diamonds rose by 2% in 2018 to $76 billion and, in dollar terms, China and the United States were the fastest-growing regions, both increasing by 5% year on year, it said.

Demand for diamond jewelry in the U.S. rose by 5% to $36 billion, representing just under half of total global diamond jewelry demand, underpinned by “solid macro-economic factors”, the De Beers research found.

Diamonds are still the leading choice for engagement rings, whether between same sex or heterosexual couples.

But demand for diamond jewelry as a gift to mark all kinds of special occasions, including rewards to oneself, now outweighs demand directly related to weddings, De Beers said.

Source: Reuters

De Beers rough diamond sight grows to $575m

De Beers rough diamond

Anglo American’s De Beers the world’s largest rough diamond producer by value, sold $575 million worth of rough diamonds at the fifth sight of this year.

The value is a 6% increase from the $541m sight in the same period last year and 3.7% higher than the $554m sight last month.

De Beers has increased efforts in recent months to find a way to verify the source of diamonds and ensure they are not from conflict area where rough diamonds may have been used to finance violence.

Last month De beers announced it would start selling jewellery made with laboratory grown diamonds.