By Michelle Graff
London--Rough diamond production was down in the second quarter for De Beers, parent company Anglo American reported Thursday. 

Diamond production decreased by 6 percent year-over-year. De Beers said this was due mainly to lower grades and reduced plant availability at Orapa, one of its mines in Botswana. However, the company also stated that it purposefully reduced production slightly at the Venetia and Jwaneng tailings treatment plants in response to “softer” trading conditions. 

Reduced production from mining companies is one of the solutions diamond industry players have proposed in order to help balance the disparity between rough and polished diamond prices. 

Overall, production by Debswana, the partnership between De Beers and the government of Botswana, was down 6 percent in the second quarter, while production at DBCM (South Africa) fell 5 percent, Canadian production was down 11 percent and production in Namibia fell “slightly.” 

In the first six months of the year, diamond production was down 3 percent year-over-year.

Total rough diamond sales volumes through the first six months of 2015 are down 26 percent year-over-year while consolidated sales volumes declined 27 percent. This is due to weak demand in the mid-stream in the first half of 2015, contrasted with the flurry of buying activity De Beers witnessed in the first six months of 2014. 

The De Beers rough price index was on average 4 percent lower in the first half of the year but the average selling price was 7 percent higher, hitting $206 per carat, due to a higher-quality product mix sold relative to the first six months of 2014.

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