Diamond companies report varying stages of recovery at the start of 2021 as the world prepares for a post-pandemic scenario amid continuing challenges.
Miner Petra Diamonds said earnings rose 20 per cent in the six months ending December 31, 2020, driven by the sale of the Letlapa Tala Collection as well as reduced mining and processing costs.
Petra is relying on the completion of its capital restricting by early March – “a milestone in putting the company on a sustainable footing going forward,” according to Petra CEO Richard Duffy.
The pandemic however could continue to put a strain on the company’s operations. “Due to ongoing uncertainty around the impact of Covid-19, production guidance for FY 2021 remains suspended,” reported Petra. “The company is closely monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on its clients’ ability to attend tenders and will continue its flexible approach in planning its upcoming sales events.”
Russian miner Alrosa said its January 2021 sales of rough and polished diamonds reached US$430 million, reflecting improved jewellery demand in China and the US.
At its first rough tender for 2021, the company sold 104 rough with a total weight of 1,500 carats for US$10 million. Clients from Belgium, India, Israel, UAE and the US participated in the sale.
Top diamond producer and exporter India, meanwhile, reported a 9.44 per cent jump in polished diamond exports to US$1.8 billion in January 2021. Total gemstone and jewellery exports for the month in review however dipped by 11 per cent from a 2.43 per cent gain recorded in December 2020.
Belgium, another major diamond hub, saw an 11.35 per cent increase in rough diamond exports in January 2021 but double-digit losses were recorded in the rough and polished import sector, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). Polished diamond exports declined by 9.73 per cent.
The diamond industry could grow in 2021 if promising business recovery in the latter part of 2020 is any indication, according to a joint report by AWDC and Bain & Company.
The Global Diamond Report 2020-2021 – Brilliant Under Pressure said 2021 started on a strong trajectory and growing market confidence. Most miners reported around 5 to 8 per cent improvements in rough diamond prices and sales in January while major miners maintained flexible sales policies.
China's jewellery retail market is also poised to recover in early 2021 while other developed countries could reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022 to 2023, according to the report.