In a recent article on Solitaire, an B2B gem and jewelry magazine published by India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky discusses the factors that will and may influence diamond supply this year.
Zimnisky starts by discussing the moves of major miners, arguing that in the wake of reduced rough diamond sales towards the end of 2023 and a buying hiatus in India, major players such as De Beers and Alrosa amassed significant inventory. De Beers witnessed a 70% year-over-year decline in sales in Q4, amounting to an estimated $1 billion build-up in stock. Alrosa suspended all sales in October and November, leading to the accumulation of stock valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Petra Diamonds sold approximately $70 million worth of rough in December, reflecting a double-digit percentage price improvement compared to two months prior. Burgundy Diamond Mines sold $170 million in the final months of the year, confirming the sale of all available inventory, excluding “specials.”
In the first half of 2024, excess stock from major players may enter the market if there is a demand recovery, potentially mitigating the lingering impact of the supply overhang from 2023, at least at the mid-market level. However, the second half of the year could witness a noticeable shift in the medium- and longer-term supply dynamic.
The suspension of operations at Canada’s Renard mine, coupled with a production guidance reduction by De Beers, is projected to lead to a global natural diamond production of 117.5 million carats in 2024. This represents a 3.5 million carats year-over-year fall and an 18.5 million carats decrease compared to the pre-pandemic figures of 2019.
Zimnisky also discusses the potential effects of wider Western sanctions on Russian diamonds, which “come into full force in 2024.” While the immediate effects of the embargo may not be as severe as projected, he says, complexities in the supply chain will be felt, posing a realistic risk of elevated supply disruptions.
Read the full analysis here.