Industry struggling with economic uncertainty and rise of lab-grown stones.
Diamond purchases at De Beers’ latest sale in Botswana plummeted 44 per cent, as the industry struggles with weaker consumer spending and the rise of lab-grown stones.
The world’s largest diamond miner said on Wednesday that sales of rough diamonds were $280m at last week’s sale compared with $503m in the same period a year ago.
The sharp decline follows another weak sale last month. So far this year, at $2.9bn, De Beers’ rough diamond sales are 26 per cent lower than the $3.9bn recorded at the same time last year. In July, Russian diamond producer Alrosa reported a 51 per cent fall in diamond sales.
“The current malaise in the market is due to oversupply,” said Paul Zimnisky, an analyst in New York, who said diamond buyers had too much inventory.
Macroeconomic uncertainty and, in particular, the trade war between the US and China, the world’s two largest diamond-consuming countries, has fuelled nervousness among wholesalers and retailers.