(Bloomberg) — De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer, expects gem prices to rebound as cutters and polishers restock after the market was depressed by “softer than expected” holiday season sales.“We should see a slight rebound,” Chief Executive Officer Philippe Mellier said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Now we think that polished prices have bottomed and rough prices have also bottomed,” he said, referring to polished stones sold in jewelry and the uncut gems it mines.Rough diamond prices fell in the fourth quarter as banks that lend to the industry tightened credit. De Beers said the outlook for diamond jewelry growth in 2015 is positive across all the main markets after sales rose 3 percent to $81 billion last year.
Demand in the U.S., the biggest diamond market, rose 7 percent to $37 billion, while sales in China rose 6 percent to 62 billion yuan ($10 billion), according to De Beers, a unit of Anglo American Plc.
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