De Beers Sells Fewest Diamonds in Two Years After Supply Cuts

  • Miner owned by Anglo often favors supply curbs over price cuts
  • Diamond buyers are struggling with financing, stagnant demand
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe

De Beers sold the fewest number of diamonds since at least the beginning of 2016 after cutting supply in a stagnant market for gems.

The company, owned by Anglo American Plc, sold $370 million of diamonds in its eighth sale of the year, compared with $494 million a year earlier. It’s the smallest sale since the company started releasing the data at the start of 2016.

“De Beers offered fewer rough diamonds for sale in Cycle 8, reflecting the concurrent timing this year of the sight sale with the closure of polishing factories in India and Israel for the observance of religious holidays,” De Beers said in a statement Tuesday. “Sales were in line with expectations, at what is a seasonally slower time for rough diamond demand.”

De Beers has a policy of trying to match its sales to demand and has favored cutting supply rather than prices. Demand for diamonds has been sluggish in recent years and the industry is being challenged by a lack of financing in the major cutting centers.

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