By Michelle Graff
Rough diamond sales totaled $390 million in De Beers’ latest round of sales, down 12 percent year-over-year but up 31 percent from the previous sales cycle. (Photo courtesy of De Beers Group/Photo credit: Ben Perry @ Armoury Films)
Gaborone, Botswana—On Wednesday, De Beers Group announced sightholder and auction sales results for the ninth, and next-to-last, sales cycle of the year.

Rough diamond sales totaled $390 million, down 12 percent year-over-year but an improvement over the eighth sales cycle, when sales totaled $287 million and were down 39 percent year-over-year.

It was De Beers’ highest sales total since June.

CEO Bruce Cleaver noted increasing polished diamond price stability prompted rough diamond buyers to purchase more in the ninth sales cycle, though he noted De Beers continued to let sightholders defer while extra stock lingers in the midstream.

He described global demand for diamond jewelry as “broadly stable.”

Cleaver’s comments are similar to those made earlier this month by Alrosa, which noted a recovery in rough diamond sales in the latter half of the third quarter.

De Beers’ rough diamond sales (detailed by sales cycle in the chart below) have totaled $3.61 billion to date in 2019, down 26 percent year-over-year.

2018 2019

$672 million     

$500 million
Second                        $563 million                      $496 million
Third $524 million $581 million
Fourth $554 million       $416 million
Fifth $581 million       $391 million 
Sixth $533 million $250 million
Seventh $503 million       $287 million 
Eighth $482 million       $297 million
Ninth $442 million $390 million (provisional)
Tenth $544 million

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