De Beers diamond sales decline due to earlier Diwali
Anglo American's De Beers posted a decline in diamond sales on Tuesday as Diwali was earlier than usual this year.
The company reported provisional diamond sales of $505m for the seventh sales cycle of 2017 compared to $576m in the sixth and $639m in the seventh cycle of last year.
De Beers chief executive Bruce Cleaver said: "As expected, rough diamond sales were somewhat lower in the seventh cycle of the year, with some midstream demand having already been brought forward into Cycle 6 due to Diwali being earlier than normal in 2017.
"Businesses in the diamond industry's midstream segment are adopting a watchful approach as attention now turns to the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in mid-September."
RBC Capital Markets said this was a weaker result than it had expected, which shows some slowing in the rough market.
"De Beers' CEO Bruce Cleaver stated that the midstream 'are adopting a watchful approach as attention now turns to the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in mid-September'. In our view, this is a key barometer for the rough market as we move into year-end; we believe that after a strong H1 of rough buying post-Indian demonetisation in late 2016, a strong sales season is
required for polished to result in an inventory destocking and therefore a subsequent improvement in liquidity in the midstream.
"We therefore expect a cautious market into mid-September with the sentiment post-Hong Kong likely to drive the rough market for the remainder of the year."
At 0935 BST, the shares were up 0.4% top 1,422p.