13 Jan 2020 15:17

Alrosa boosts diamond sales 26% in Dec to $364 mln

MOSCOW. Jan 13 (Interfax) - Alrosa sold $363.8 million in rough and polished diamonds in December, up 26% from November sales of $288 million, the company said in a statement.

This was the fifth consecutive month of growth after negative trends in April-July.

Sales rose 11% year-on-year, from $328.7 million in November 2018.

Rough diamond sales came to $352.1 million and polished diamond sales to $11.6 million in December 2019.

Overall rough and polished diamond sales fell 26% to $3.338 billion in 2019 as a whole. Rough diamonds were sold for $3.273 billion and polished diamonds for $64.7 million, less 2% of revenue. The rough diamonds include diamonds shipped to the Smolensk Kristall cutting plant, which Alrosa bought at the end of last year, while the polished diamond sales do not include sales by Kristall.

"In December, we observed signs of stabilising diamond demand that had emerged earlier in the second half of the year amid the gradual restoration of market balance. This was largely supported by a flexible sales strategy of mining companies," said Alrosa Deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev.

"Cutters and retailers entered 2019 with large stocks of goods, but their expectations of strong demand did not match the reality. Along with a number of other factors, this triggered a massive destocking while also hitting the demand for rough diamonds. As a result, 2019 saw sales by diamond producers drop by almost a third from the previous year. At the same time, there is robust demand for jewelry from end consumers. The preliminary data on Christmas sales shows its year-on-year growth in some regions," he said.