New leadership at the helm of De Beers Group has recently made the news in the diamond sector. Philippe Mellier steps down effective July 1, 2016 after a 5-year stint in the CEO post. In his place, Bruce Cleaver, Group director of strategy for Anglo American will step in to that position. Mellier who has directed the company through some murky waters in recent years said, “Having steered (De Beers Group) through some of the diamond industry’s toughest time and with the market showing signs of recovery, now is the right time for me to pass the baton to the next generation.”
Keeping Things Moving Right Along
And that generation would be Cleaver who remarked of his new role, “I look forward to working closely with all of our key customers, governments and other stakeholders to ensure that De Beers continues to lead the industry into a new and exciting phase.”
And it looks like the industry is moving in the direction that De Beers anticipates. After completing their 4th offering of rough diamonds at the end of May 2016, the sales suggest a stronger than expected demand during what is usually a weaker quarter. “It’s a positive surprise that the market is still re-stocking,” remarked Jeremy Wrathall, head of global natural resources at Investec in London.
Up is Good
Last year of course, the diamond market responded to the slowing Chinese demand by being forced to lower prices to the sad tune of 15% down. De Beers Group does not disclose details of its diamond sales held 10 times a year. But it is reported that the May sales were up a significant amount from the sale in January, signaling a welcome upward course.