Rough diamond sales at Anglo American's De Beers fell in the third cycle of 2018, but demand remained “good”, the company said.
Sales in the third cycle fell to $520m from $563m in the second, and $586 in the third cycle of 2017.

De Beers chief executive officer Bruce Cleaver said: “While the second quarter of the year is traditionally a seasonally slower period, we continued to see good rough diamond demand in the third sales cycle of 2018 as diamond businesses have focused on restocking following healthy consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the US and China.”

RBC Capital Markets analyst Tyler Broda said the results are “on the weak side”.

“For De Beers to reach our forecasts, they would need to average $528m per sight but this is traditionally first half weighted. Year-to-date they have posted an average of $585m per sight which is down from last year's $620m, however this was influenced to an extent by a sell-down of lower quality inventory in Jan 2017.

“With a stronger back half expected, we continue to see De Beers on track; however the next couple of sights will need to be monitored.”

At 0811 BST, Anglo shares were up 1.5% to 1,684p.