The mining company has implemented a pricing adjustment, reducing prices by 5% to 10% for rough diamonds under 0.75 carats. Smaller items that produce melee, however, experienced thinner or no reductions, according to insiders within the market who shared this information on the condition of anonymity.
For rough diamonds weighing between 0.75 and 2 carats, an average reduction of approximately 10% to 15% was observed, while prices for goods of 2 carats and larger witnessed a more significant drop of around 15%, as reported by undisclosed sources.
Particularly, select makeables—rough stones ranging from 2 to 4 carats that yield SI2 to I2 diamonds—saw a more pronounced decline, with estimates ranging from 20% to 25%. This decline is attributed to the influence of increased competition from lab-grown diamonds on mid-market demand in the United States over the past year, explained sightholders. De Beers, however, refrains from making public comments on pricing matters.
De Beers typically adjusts its volume and prices conservatively during market downturns, waiting until the polished market shows signs of improvement. Despite the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds experiencing a 21% decline in 2023—the most challenging year on record for the category—sightholders reported a modest increase in US demand since the commencement of the holiday shopping season, although Chinese orders remained subdued.
The global market exhibited signs of stabilization following India's two-month voluntary freeze on rough diamond imports, concluding on December 15.
Commenting on the pricing adjustment, one source noted, "[In the past, De Beers] didn’t want to change prices because they didn’t know [what the state of the] polished [market] was. They have an idea where polished is now, and have adjusted rough to polished."
Nevertheless, some sightholders expressed dissatisfaction with the extent of the price reductions, asserting that De Beers' prices still surpassed those of external tenders and auctions and remained too high for many manufacturers to achieve profitability.
Despite the price reduction, industry insiders anticipate limited demand at the sight, with projected sales of approximately $300 million. The trading session, marking De Beers' first of the year, commenced on Monday and is scheduled to run through Friday in Gaborone, Botswana.