Not all hope is lost in the diamond industry this year as major diamond dealer De Beers on Friday announced diamond sales have significantly improved in line with eased Covid-19 restrictions globally.
Announcing the sales figures on Friday, the precious stones dealer said it made provisional sales of N$5,3 billion for its seventh sales cycle, which ran from mid-August to the first two weeks of this month.
The seventh-cycle sales figure is more than the N$4,8 billion which was earned last year in the same cycle when the market was not as pressed and travel restrictions were not imposed.
For the preceding sixth cycle, rough diamond sales value was at some N$1,9 billion, which brings sales value year-to-date to N$23,2 billion.
At the announcement, Bruce Cleaver, the group’s chief executive officer, said the diamond market showed some continued improvement throughout August into September.
He attributes this to eased Covid-19 restrictions.
“Overall industry sentiment has become more positive as jewellers in the key USA and Chinese consumer markets gained confidence ahead of the important year-end holiday season, supported by strong bridal diamond jewellery demand across markets,” Cleaver said.
He said the recent figures are solid, especially following several months of minimal manufacturing activity and disrupted demand patterns in all major markets.
“It’s clear the recovery is at an early stage, and we are expecting it will take some time to get back to pre-Covid-19 levels of demand,” he said.
It will be interesting to see how the three sales cycles remaining for the year play out. Analysts have already predicted poor performance.
The next sight (sale) is slated for between 4 and 8 October this year.
In Namibia and Botswana diamond mining and sales are a significant contribution to both gross domestic product and government’s revenue, respectively.
At the tabling of the national budget at the beginning of this year, the government had said it expects to rake in around N$711 million in direct taxes from diamond mining companies. Normally, diamond mining companies contribute over N$1 billion.