De Beers made the biggest sale this year in August 2009. The sale that amounted to US$ 475 million was the seventh sale this year.
According to Bloomberg the total sales of De Beers so far this year is US$ 2.2 billion, this is the lowest in over twenty years.
The Diamond Trading Corporation (DTC) ,the trading arm of De Beers , is the largest distributor of rough diamonds and it is responsible for distributing and selling about 40% of all uncut diamonds.
De beers holds 10 sights a year. A sight is a rough diamond selling event. The August sale was the 7th sight this year.
In 2008 by this time De Beers had sold US$ 4.8 billion worth of rough diamonds. The is mainly due to the recession in the USA, which accounts for about 50% of the worldwide retail sales. However De Beers expects the demand to improve in the second half.
Diamond prices have also improved by about 6.8% during the past 3 months.
The August sale brought relief to many in the diamond industry that are affected by the recession. The diamond industry which comes under luxury goods is among the most affected by the global downturn.
As of 31st of December 2008 De Beers had a debt of US$ 3.6 billion. The share holders of De Beers which include the Botswana government, the Oppenheimer family and Anglo American provided US$500 million loan to De Beers. De beers is also having discussions with banks regarding the renewal of its US$1.5 billion loan facility which is expected to expire in march 2010.