DTC to raise rough prices

The Diamond Trading Company, the marketing arm of De Beers, said it will raise the prices of its February sight by almost 2 percent.

Des Cavanagh, DTC sales director, has written to all of De Beers clients, alerting them to the price change.

“It is important for the DTC to review its box prices on a frequent basis in order to align itself with the changing diamond market. This is intrinsically linked to the performance of the polished demand in the key consumer markets,” the DTC said in statement Wednesday. “We have carefully taken into account current market fundamentals and the medium to long-term view, which we see as positive.”

DTC said that the 6 to 7 percent growth in diamond sales achieved in 2005 and a projected growth of 7 percent for 2006 were among the reasons for the price hike, even though the DTC acknowledges that the year got off to a slow start.

“While 2006 has undoubtedly started with its challenges, we remain confident that the fundamentals of our business remain firm and that there will be opportunities for achieving real growth this year,” DTC said.

“The latest rebalancing of prices is predicated on our analysis of medium to long term fundamentals in the diamond industry, which we believe will continue to provide a sustainable platform for long-term growth,” DTC said. “In the medium term, we remain confident that downstream growth this year will be at least as strong as it was in 2005.”