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De Beers boosts 2022 guidance despite drop in output

Prices for small rough diamonds, the type that would end up clustered around the solitaire stone in a ring, are climbing. (Image courtesy of Anglo American | Flickr.)

De Beers, the world’s top diamond producer by value, has boosted its full-year guidance to 32 million-34 million carats, from 30 million- 33 million carats thanks to what it calls “robust demand” from US customers.

The Anglo American unit saw a slight decrease in production in the three months to June 30, churning out 7.9 million carats, down from the 8.2 million it produced during the same quarter last year.

The miner has benefitted from sanctions imposed on its Russian rival Alrosa (MCX: ALRS), despite a slight production decrease in the second quarter of the year.

While De Beers produces relatively few small diamonds, the type Alrosa specializes in, the company has seen revenue from diamonds sales jump since April. That was when Alrosa was first targeted by US sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Delivering second quarter production results, Anglo American said ongoing sanctions along with decisions by several US jewellery businesses to restrict purchases of Russian diamonds, have the “potential to underpin continued robust demand.”

De Beers sells its gems through 10 sales each year in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, and the handpicked buyers — known as sightholders — generally must accept the price and the quantities offered.

Around 60 handpicked customers are given a black and yellow box each time. These contain plastic bags filled with stones, with the number of boxes and quality of diamonds depending on what the buyer and De Beers had agreed to in an annual allocation.