de beers raıses prıses of smaller dıamonds

De Beers lifted prices of smaller rough at this week’s sight, its second consecutive increase, as the industry continued to express concerns about a perceived mismatch with polished.

Goods weighing less than 0.75 carats saw price hikes of around 5% at the February sale, while larger items were mostly stable, sightholders and industry insiders told Rapaport News this week.

The latest adjustments follow a strong US holiday season for retail and come amid robust demand in the polished sector while the industry restocks. Rough prices have rocketed in recent months, reflecting this appetite as well as supply shortages.

Prices at auctions and tenders have risen even more strongly than sight goods, with traders enjoying unprecedented premiums when reselling De Beers boxes on the secondary market.

However, manufacturers’ margins have suffered. This was a major point of discussion at the Dubai Diamond Conference, which took place Monday.

“There is still some buzz, but people are very cautious now because they’ve understood that prices have hit the ceiling and [De Beers] is facing resistance now with the new prices,” a sightholder said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. “There will be some stability and there has to be some mindfulness, because rough prices are outpacing polished prices so anyone who buys rough at those prices is not going to make a profit.”