London, England — 19 February 2013 – The De Beers Group “’ the world’s leading diamond company “’ expects a moderate increase in diamond demand and prices this year, despite the fact that total sales, rough diamond prices and overall production dropped in 2012.     

Releasing its results for the year ended 31 December 2012 here, the company said that total sales had fallen 16% to US$6.1 billion and rough diamond sales had decreased by 15% to US$5.5 billion. Rough diamond prices were down by 12% in line with those for polished diamonds.

Demand for diamond jewellery in the key markets of the US, China and Japan grew in 2012, albeit at a slower pace than in 2011. This, together with higher polished stock levels, resulted in a decline in polished prices particularly in the third quarter of 2012.

Turning to production, De Beers commented: “In light of prevailing diamond market trends and operational challenges, the company’s stated strategy of producing to demand was maintained, with 27.9Mcts recovered in 2012 “’ 11% below the 31.3Mcts output in 2011 “’ while operations continued to focus on maintenance and waste stripping backlogs.”

De Beers expects moderate growth in diamond jewellery demand in 2013. This will be supported primarily by a more positive picture emerging from China and India compared to 2012. Some upside is possible in the US, while trading conditions in other developed markets are likely to be challenging.

“In the medium to long term, industry fundamentals are expected to strengthen as diamond production plateaus and demand continue to increase,” the statement added.

Source: De Beers Group. For more information, click here.