De Beers H1 rough sales reach $2.84 billion

Global diamond giant De Beers said on Monday rough diamond sales in the first half of 2002 rose 8.5% from the same period last year to $2.842 billion, Reuters reported.

Parent Anglo American, which owns 45% of the diamond group, said it would report headline earnings for its De Beers’s investment of $166 million for the first half, Reuters reported. The diversified miner posts interim results on Sept. 10.

“Restocking by the retail trade in the first half of the year meant that polished demand from the cutting centers was above underlying retail demand in the consumer markets,” De Beers reportedly said. “As a result, polished stocks financed by the cutting centers reduced over the period from about $4.1 billion to $3.4 billion.”

The group, which supplies around two-thirds of the world’s rough gems, said prospects for the rest of the year would depend on the state of the global economy and U.S. consumer confidence in particular.

The United States accounts for half of all global sales of diamond jewelry.

A Reuters poll of seven analysts showed that De Beers’ Diamond Trading Co (DTC) was expected to have sold uncut stones worth $2.82 billion in the six months to end-June, compared to $2.619 billion a year earlier.

Apart from Anglo, De Beers’s other owners are South Africa’s Oppenheimer family and the Botswana government.