Grib Diamonds noted a modest increase in rough prices versus pre-lockdown levels as demand returned following a two-month pause in sales.
The Belgian company, which sells production from AGD Diamonds’ Grib mine in Russia, brought in just over $20 million from Tuesday’s sale of around 350,000 carats. In total, 90% of goods sold by value, Antony Dear, Grib’s head of sales, reported Wednesday.
“Prices were overall slightly improved on March prices,” he said. The strongest items were those that are easy to manufacture into polished and are destined for the Chinese market, he added.
The auction in Antwerp was Grib’s first since March as the coronavirus almost entirely shut the diamond industry, forcing it to cancel its April and May sales. The company usually offers its goods once a month.
With markets waking up, the extent of the recovery will largely depend on how miners manage their inventories, Dear explained. Shortages could appear if producers continue to restrict supply and stockpile rough, the executive added.
“However, the world economy is in an extremely fragile situation,” he commented. “We do not believe that the full effects of the worldwide lockdown have fully played out yet, and some major economies may well have a long road of contraction ahead of them.”