De Beers Plans 5% Annual Price Increase to Meet Anglo Returns Target
Anglo American’s revenue produced from diamonds comprised approximately 19 percent of their $33 billion total sales in 2013. Anglo owns 85 percent of De Beers, which means they have significant reason behind their new push for even greater returns. Anglo has set the goal for its unit returns on capital at 15 percent by 2016. This has led De Beers’ plans for an annual increase of five percent.
This five percent annual increase decided upon by De Beers represents an evenly graduated increase over the next three years. The company is banking on this graduated increase matching growing demand in the marketplace, creating an essentially seamless increase in prices. Some would even say it’s an increase that may potentially go unnoticed by customers over the long haul. With that, De Beers is not forecasting any additional increases for this current year beyond the five percent it’s already risen.
The U.S. economy’s recovery from the global financial crisis and China’s growing middle class have been attributed as the leading causes for the price more than doubling in the past five years. Rough diamond prices increased by approximately 10 percent this year. “We know the long-term trend, we know demand is going to be bigger than supply. One of the objectives is more stable prices and to drive volatility out. We have a plan to get there. My team is very focused. It’s our one objective, the objective,” says Chief Executive Officer Philippe Mellier.
It’s not just an increase in U.S. demand that will help De Beers drive its price increase. Having suffered a setback in sales in 2013 due to the fall of India’s rupee, De Beers does foresee a rejuvenated India providing a global demand increase of two percent, climbing to 10 percent.
Lynas revenue jumps 21% as rare earth prices jump
Australian miner Lynas Rare Earths posted a 20.6% rise in revenue in the March quarter as selling prices for the key metals it mines hit record highs amid strong demand, particularly for neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr).
NdPr is used in magnets for electric vehicles and windfarms, in consumer goods like smartphones, and in military equipment such as jet engines and missile guidance systems.
The company said it plans to maintain production at 75% however, as it seeks to continue to meet covid-19 safety protocols and grapples with shipping difficulties. Shares in Lynas fell 6.1% after the results.
“They have faced a few logistics issues, and it would be good to know when they are going to start lifting their utilisation rates a bit,” said portfolio manager Andy Forster of Argo Investments in Sydney.
“Pricing has been pretty strong although it may have peeled back a bit recently. I still think the medium, long-term outlook is pretty good for their suite of products.”
Lynas post ed revenue of A$110mn ($85.37mn) for the three months to the end of March, up from A$91.2mn a year earlier as prices soared.
It said its full product range garnered average selling prices of A$35.5/kg during the March quarter, up from $23.7 in the first half of the financial year. “While the persistence of the covid crisis, especially in Europe, calls for careful forecasts for our business ahead, we see the rare earth market recovering very quickly,” said Lynas, the world’s largest rare earths producer outside China.
Freight demand has spiked during the pandemic, while the blockage of the Suez Canal in March delayed a shipment to April.
Lynas’ output of 4,463 tonnes of rare earth oxide (REO) during the quarter was marginally lower than 4,465 tonnes from a year earlier.