In its latest newsletter, the South African Diamond Producers Organisation (Sadpo) has advised that diamond producers hold back on production and sales, as the rough diamond market remains under immense pressure.
Sadpo says the rough diamond market, particularly for larger diamonds, has remained under immense pressure since the start of South Africa’s lockdown 63 days ago.
Chairperson Gert van Niekerk states that some of the producers have reported offers of 40% to 50% below what was received at the end of February.
However, Sadpo remains positive that the downward market trend will turn positive as more local and international markets open up again.
The organisation recommends that diamond production and sales be held back, where possible, until market conditions improve.
Further, Van Niekerk, in the organisation’s newsletter, commended the mines that have been inspected by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and found compliant with Covid-19-related health and safety measures to help curb the spread of the virus in the mining industry and its communities.
To date, no positive Covid-19 cases have been reported at any of South Africa’s diamond mines.
Meanwhile, Sadpo confirms that licensed diamond traders may proceed with their normal tender processes, and export of rough diamonds, under Level 3 of South Africa’s lockdown, effective June 1.
However, the organisation advises that the Kimberley International Diamond symposium, previously the annual Diggers’ Conference, has been postponed until 2021 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.