India’s money crackdown hurt De Beers sales
De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer, has reached its lowest sales point of rough stones for the year as demand was hurt by India’s crackdown on black money.
In an announcement, this Tuesday Anglo American plc revealed that De Beers sold $418 million value of diamonds in its 10th cycle, compared with $476 million value of the ninth cycle of 2016.
Commenting on these, Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, said, “We continued to see good demand for De Beers rough diamonds in our latest sales cycle. While the trade in lower value rough diamonds is experiencing a temporary slowdown as a result of the demonetisation programme in India, demand across the rest of the product mix continued to be healthy and overall sales remained in line with seasonal expectations.”
Cleaver is however pleased that, the sales were significantly higher than those for the equivalent cycle in 2015, at $248 million. The diamond industry has been hit by India’s war against so-called black money after the government invalidated existing 500-rupee ($7.41) and 1,000-rupee bank notes. It is understood that, De Beers has responded by moving to ease restrictions on buyers in India as the government’s actions suppressed demand.