Magazine article African Business

Diamond Sales Reach Record Levels in 1993

Magazine article African Business

Diamond Sales Reach Record Levels in 1993

Article excerpt

Sales of rough diamonds through De Beers's Central Selling Organisation (CSO) reached a new record in 1993, of $4.37bn. The figure represents an increase of 4.65% over the previous highest annual sales level recorded, which was 1988's $4.17bn, and it is 27.77% higher than the 1992 level of $3.42bn.

Sales in the second half of 1993 increased by 12% over the same period of 1992. The rise follows an extremely strong first half of 1993, when rough sales increased by 42% compared with the same period of 1992. The rise in first-half sales took place as a result of trade restocking, particularly in the US, following reduced sales to the market by the CSO in the latter part of 1992. First-half sales were also affected by a number of other, mainly short-term, factors.

The CSO raised rough prices by 1.5% in February 1993, and this hike affected categories of rough diamonds above three-quarters of a carat, where demand was strongest. Producers' delivery entitlements are currently at 85%, having been increased from 80% in July 1993 and from 75% in May 1993.

Although the general rough market appears to be satisfactory, some signs are appearing that an oversupply exists in the lower- and cheaper-quality range of rough diamonds. The market balance for these categories has been affected by the sale of rough diamonds from Russian and US stockpiles, which had previously been set aside for industrial and technical use. Retail diamond jewellery sales have held up well, given a weak global economy, the CSO reports. …

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