Petra’s Cullinan
mine in South Africa
 
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 July 2010 – Rough diamond price increases may slow down this quarter before gathering pace in the buildup to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, according to Petra Diamonds Limited.

“We’re expecting somewhat of a consolidation for July, August and September,” CEO Johan Dippenaar said by phone from here. “We expect the year to close out strongly again with the traditional festive season sales.”

Prices of rough, or unpolished, diamonds have risen in the past year, returning to levels last seen in June 2008, after producers including De Beers cut output, gem dealers rebuilt stockpiles and demand rebounded. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are the busiest sales periods for the industry.

Petra “’ which mines the precious stones in southern and east Africa “’ said in a statement that the diamond market had recovered from the global recession, citing a slow but steady improvement in demand from the United States, the biggest diamond consumer.

“While global rough diamond output will be higher this year than in 2009, supply constraints will lead to a significant shortfall over the next three to five years as the largest mines are depleted,” the company added.

Petra’s gross sales jumped 88% to US$177.7 million (R1.3 billion) in the year through June, according to the statement. The company sold 1.13 million carats in the period, compared with 1.01 million carats a year earlier, as gross output rose 6% to 1.16 million carats.