De Beers announced today its sales of uncut diamonds in the first half of 2000 surged to $3.517 billion, a 44% increase from the same period last year.
The result was ahead of recent market expectations. The Financial Times of London reported Monday that analysts predicted sales to be $3 billion to $3.2 billion for the first half and reach $5.2 billion by the end of the year.
De Beers attributes the increase to the strength of the U.S. market. Despite the recent volatility in the American stock markets, De Beers says in a press release, demand for diamonds remains strong. De Beers notes the recent JCK Show in Las Vegas confirmed beliefs that diamond demand will remain high in the U.S.
Outside of the U.S., De Beers saw mixed results. Asia Pacific countries continue to show positive results, while demand in Japan remains low. Growth in Europe is strong in terms of local currency, but the growth is moderated by the euro's weakness against the U.S. dollar.
De Beers also reports diamond stocks in manufacturing centers and retail markets have increased in line with sales and expectations.
- by Julia M. Duncan