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ROUGH MARKET

Rough sold at De Beers’ Diamdel tender in Antwerp this week achieved strong prices with traders reporting increases of as much as 10-20%, compared to the previous tender held last month. The strong prices achieved at the tender has led the market to expect large price increases by De Beers, particularly in the bigger and better qualities, at its sight or sale later this month. A production update by Rio Tinto showed declines at its two major mines: Diavik and Argyle. At Argyle in Australia, first quarter output fell 31%, compared to the same quarter last year. Compared to previous (fourth) quarter, production dropped 64%. At Canada’s Diavik mine, production fell 31% from the first quarter of last year. Compared to the previous quarter, production at Diavik fell 39%. The declines are evidence of world production shortages that are feeding through into the market and are driving part of the demand. The weak dollar is also said to support continued strong buying in better and larger goods.



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