De Beers Group has announced its provisional rough diamond sales for the tenth cycle of 2021 has fallen year-on-year by 26% from $452m (£339.48m) to $332m (£249.35m).
The value of rough diamond sales has also fallen by 24% compared to the group’s ninth cycle sales this year of $438m (£328.97m).
De Beers chalked the fall down to the restrictions on the movement of people and products in various jurisdictions around the globe due to Covid-19.
Despite the fall, the group said it has continued to implement a “more flexible approach” to rough diamond sales during the tenth sales cycle of 2021, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said: “Rough diamond demand and midstream sentiment continued to be positive in the final sales cycle of 2021, although as anticipated we saw some impact on sales ahead of the seasonal closure of polishing factories in southern Africa over the Christmas period.
“Nonetheless, despite the ongoing challenges of Covid-19, our rough diamond sales for the year are higher than what we saw in 2019 before the onset of the pandemic, and much higher than our sales in 2020.”
He added: “Consumer demand for diamond jewellery is continuing to perform very well over the key holiday period, so we head towards the new year with positive trading conditions and industry sentiment.”