The De Beers May sight had an estimated value of $600 million as the company raised its rough diamond prices by approximately 4 percent. The price hike reflected a change in list prices on various goods as well as adjustments made to De Beers box assortments.
Dealers noted that trading on the secondary market was significantly reduced following the sight that ended on May 9 as De Beers goods are now selling at around list price, erasing the 5 percent premiums they had gained in the past few months.
One India-based sightholder noted that they were in fact losing money on the secondary market when accounting for the various broker fees and other costs associated with the goods. “Sightholders are losing money so they don’t want to sell,” he explained. “So they’re putting everything into manufacturing. We may not make so much money in manufacturing but at least we’re not losing.”
Factories in India have maintained cautious manufacturing levels, which are expected to remain well below capacity in the coming months, especially during the May summer vacation period.
Most sightholders who spoke with Rapaport News were frustrated by the sight and expressed surprise at the price hike as it followed an increase of approximately 3 percent implemented in April.
“As manufacturers, we’re again in that awkward position where we have to pay more for the rough and we have to fight for our prices on the polished,” said one Antwerp-based sightholder. “But we really don’t get a return on the goods and that’s very dissatisfying.”