Coronavirus: De Beers Forced to Cancel Sight 3March 31, 20
(IDEX Online) - De Beers has canceled its third Sight of the year and is allowing buyers to defer 100 per cent of their purchases.
The move was announced yesterday (Monday 30 March), the day the Sight had been due to start in Gaborone, Botswana.
Earlier this month world's largest producer of rough diamonds indicated it was hopeful the Sight would go still ahead, saying "customers continue to express some demand for rough diamonds".
However it has now conceded that coronavirus worries and resulting travel restrictions had made it impossible to proceed.
In a statement it said: "Due to the public health restrictions on the movement of people and product in Botswana, South Africa and India, which prohibit customers from traveling and prevent the shipment of goods to customers' international operations, De Beers Group will not hold its third Sight of 2020.
"De Beers Group is enabling Sightholders to defer 100% of their Sight 3 allocations to later in the year, and will continue to seek innovative ways to meet Sightholders' rough diamond supply needs in the coming weeks."
Flights from 18 high-risk countries - including China, India and Belgium - were banned earlier this month to limit the spread of coronavirus.
De Beers reported its worst set of earnings in February since Anglo American acquired it in 2012.