GABORONE, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Global diamond giant De Beers Group said on Friday that its revenue and production declined in 2019, attributing the downturn to a range of significant challenges to rough diamond trading.
In its 2019 preliminary financial results released on the day, the company indicated that stock levels in the industry's midstream are returning to a more balanced position following stable consumer demand, especially in the United States.
U.S.-China trade tensions, geopolitical escalations in the Middle East, and their influences on economic growth and consumer sentiment, resulted in the company's total revenue decreasing by 24 percent to 4.6 billion U.S. dollars, with rough diamond sales falling by 26 percent to 4.0 billion dollars, said De Beers' chief financial officer Susanne Swaniker.
Average realized rough diamond price lowered 20 percent to 137 dollars per carat, reflecting a 6 percent decline in the average rough price index, said Swaniker.
Production decreased 13 percent to 30.8 million carats, in response to softer rough diamond demand compared with 2018, she said.
However, despite the lower production, unit cost increases were limited to 5 percent, supported by improved efficiencies and cost savings in the mining business, she said.
Meanwhile, De Beers took a number of steps to help address rough diamond trade challenges, which have led to an improvement in conditions and a return to a more stable trading environment, she added.
De Beers Group is an international corporation specializing in diamond exploration, mining, retail, trading and industrial manufacturing sectors. It has operations in 35 countries and mines in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada.