De Beers’ 2020 Rough Sales -27% To 22.7 Million Carats

Photograph by Elaine Banister / © Anglo American 2015

Anglo American said in its quarterly report that rough diamond sales continued to improve, with midstream demand supported by an encouraging holiday selling season for diamond jewellery.

Rough diamond sales for the full year 2020 declined 27% to 22.7 million carats, and in Q4 fell 1% to 6.9 million carats versus 7 million carats in 2019.

Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: ““As we begin 2021, we are continuing to see positive demand for rough diamonds, supported by consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the holiday selling season. While it is still too early to signal a strong and sustained recovery, the resilience in demand in spite of ongoing Covid-19 impacts is very encouraging.”

De Beers’ Q4 rough diamond production decreased by 14% to 6.7 million carats, driven by planned reductions in response to lower demand for rough caused Covid-19 and operational challenges that led to lower-than-expected output at Orapa.

In Botswana, Q4 production decreased by 28% to 4.3 million carats, while Namibian production decreased by 26% to 0.3 million carats.

De Beers’ South African production increased to 1.3 million carats, and production in Canada decreased by 23% to 0.8 million carats.

The full year consolidated average realised price decreased by 3% to $133/ct (2019: $137/ct), as a 10% reduction in the average rough price index was partly offset by an increased proportion of higher value rough diamonds sold in 2020.

Anglo American issued a downward revision of its annual production guidance to 32-34 million carats from 33-35 million carats earlier.

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