June 21, 1999
De Beers To Announce Sales Increase
Robust demand in the U.S., United Kingdom and France supported a strong increase in rough diamond sales by De Beers' Central Selling Organisation during the first half of 1999, according to Reuters. Analysts expect sales figures, which CSO will release next week, to be $2 to $2.3 billion, up 18% to 35% compared to the first half of 1998.
Analysts say the CSO's reduction of diamond sights last year diminished pipeline stocks to "a more comfortable level." Sights were still small in January this year but increased in size as major cutting centers gained confidence in the market.
Because of low demand from Asian markets suffering a recession, the CSO feared too many diamonds in the market would cause prices to fall and cut the size of parcels to sightholders. Rough diamond sales by the CSO were down 28% in 1998 compared to the previous year because of tight supply.
- by Stacey King