London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 September 2009 – The world’s largest diamond supplier “’ De Beers “’ held its biggest sale so far this year in August as gem prices improved, said RBC Capital Markets, citing cutters and polishers it did not identify.
De Beers probably sold diamonds worth as much as US$475 million (R3.8 billion) at its seventh sale, analyst Des Kilalea said in a note to clients dated yesterday. That brings sales at the Diamond Trading Company “’ the De Beers trading arm “’ to about US$2.2 billion (R17.6 billion) this year, the lowest in more than 20 years, he wrote.
DTC is the world’s largest rough gem distributor, selling about 40% of all uncut diamonds.
De Beers spokeswoman Lynette Gould could not immediately comment when Bloomberg News contacted her by phone in London.
The company said in July that it expected demand to improve in the second half of the year. It slashed output as first half sales dropped 57% to US$1.4 billion (R11 billion), it added.
Prices have increased about 6.8% during the past three months, according to an index compiled by market researcher Polished Prices.
“Resilient prices could reflect the need of the cutting and polishing factories to ensure they have sufficient stock for the Indian festival of Diwali and the important Christmas season in the world’s largest market, the U.S.,” Kilalea added in his note.
RBC is forecasting DTC’s sales at US$2.8 billion (R22 billion) to US$3 billion (R24 billion) this year.