Russia’s 1H Rough Diamond Exports slide 16%

Rough DiamondsMoscow: Russia’s rough diamond exports fell 16 percent year on year to $2.13 billion in the first half of 2015, Itar-Tass reported citing the country’s Ministry of Finance. By volume, exports declined 10 percent to 17.83 million carats. Rough imports rose 70 percent to $46.5 million as volume more than tripled to 28,000 carats.

Russia was the world’s largest diamond producer in 2014, outranking Botswana in the Kimberley Process data recently published.

The country’s diamond production rose 8.3 percent to 18.5 million carats in the first six months of 2015, according to the treasury, with the value of production up 22 percent to $2 billion. The ministry reported that the average price of production increased 13 percent to $109.13 per carat. Interfax explained that the estimate is based on Finance Ministry pricing which does not correspond with market prices but rather follows the insurance value of the diamonds.

ALROSA, which accounts for the bulk of Russia’s diamond production, recently reported that its production grew 13 percent to 18 million carats in the first half of the year, while the average price of its sales fell 6 percent since the beginning of the year. The company since reduced prices by 8 percent to 10 percent and allowed its clients to defer 50 percent of their allocated supply at the September sale that took place last week, sources confirmed with Rapaport News.

Company executives said in a September 1 conference call that they prefer to hold inventory than reduce production during the prevailing weak market conditions.