"Whilst the market has been defibrillated, we think it will remain in intensive care for some time, although any improvement is good news for the smaller pure play producers with weak balance sheets," said BMO analyst Edward Sterck.
Having suspended its third, fourth and fifth sightholder sales in March due to COVID-related disruptions, De Beers' sixth and seventh sales cycles yielded revenues of US$116M and US$320M respectively.
"Seventh sales proceeds of US$320M was encouraging and is not far behind US$400M (average for 10 sales) achieved for 2019," said Sterck.
Sterck noted that De Beers flagged improving market conditions in August and September.
"However, it highlighted the recovery is at an early stage and it expects a prolonged recovery towards pre-COVID demand levels," said Sterck.