Rough diamond sales for De Beers slumped 39% to 19.9 million carats in 2015, according to the firm’s parent company Anglo American.
In its production report for the fourth quarter of 2015, the company said that the drop in sales was due to a 12% fall in production to 28.7 million carats. It said production slowed down in response to current trading conditions.
Diamond production for the fourth quarter of 2015 decreased 16% year-on-year to 7.1 million carats, while rough diamond sales volumes stood at 3.6 million carats compared with 3 million carats in the previous quarter.
The company, which recently completed the sale of its Kimberley mine in South Africa and suspended operations at its Snap Lake mine in Canada, said this reflected the weaker trading conditions and higher pipeline stocks that impacted upon the midstream.
Meanwhile, it also reported that its rough diamond price index was around 8% lower in 2015 than in 2014, with the index falling by 15% over the course of the year. Despite this, the average realised price at $207 (£144) per carat was 5% higher due to a “higher quality average product mix”.
The figures come after De Beers sold $540m (£380m) worth of rough diamonds in the first sales cycle of 2016, more than doubling the value achieved in the company’s final sales cycle of 2015.