London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 July 2008 – The giant De Beers organisation – the world’s biggest diamond producer – has increased rough diamond prices by an average of 5% from this month.
Reuters reports that the price hike by the group’s marketing arm – the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) – came amid strong demand for diamonds in Asian emerging markets and tight supply, which led to price increases of 8.5 % earlier this year.
A De Beers official said last month that buoyant diamond demand from China, India and the Middle East would more than offset expected slower sales in the United States, which accounts for half of the diamond jewellery market.
De Beers – 45% owned by mining group Anglo American – made the price increase during the firm’s July “sight” this week, one of 10 week-long events during the year at which the DTC markets rough diamonds to tightly-screened clients.
“Some increases have been made at the July Sight, the overall effect of which is plus 5%,” De Beers told Reuters. The company had said in February that it expected a rebound in its rough diamond sales this year after a dip in 2007.
Sales fell 3.7% to US$5.9 billion (R47 billion) last year, but supply shortages were expected to keep prices strong and help to lift the 2008 sales figures, De Beers added.
The company, which controls around 40 % of the international diamond market, posted flat output of diamonds last year at 51 million carats, and a steady result is expected in 2008.