Hit hard by the Covid pandemic in 2020, South Africa’s De Beers confirms a solid recovery in its business.
After a catastrophic year in 2020, marked by the coronavirus pandemic and during which the diamond industry was confronted with the double challenge of cutting its stones and selling them on the market, the recovery seems to have finally begun. The South African diamond company De Beers, the world leader in the sector, announced on Wednesday, March 10, through the voice of its CEO Bruce Cleaver, that its rough diamond sales reached $550 million in the second sales cycle of 2021, an increase of more than half (+52%) year-on-year. Figures that, although still subject to adjustment, as the company was keen to point out, reflect a return to normalized activity: after the initial shock, customers are again resupplying massively, especially in the segment of intermediate quality diamonds, justified the mining giant.
By way of comparison, the second cycle of 2020 had brought in 362 million dollars in revenue; a historic slump due to the initial containment measures put in place last year, which had paralyzed the Indian city of Surate, in the state of Gujarat, the world’s leading center for cutting precious stones (90% of the world’s diamonds). As a result, De Beers was forced to cancel its third sales cycle. A painful memory which no doubt explains the particularly cautious communication of the South African group’s management. « Although the year started positively, we recognize the short-term uncertainty about the pace and shape of the recovery, » Bruce Cleaver said in his statement. The group manages 10 sales cycles per year, with an average of one every five weeks.