Alrosa 2017 sales fall to $4.3bn on lower average price for rough diamonds

Russian miner Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world’s top diamond producer by output, saw 2017 sales fall to $4.3 billion, from $4.5 billion in the previous year, as the average price of its rough rocks declined.

Alrosa’s vice president Yury Okoemov said that despite the dip last year was a good one for the company with demand being fairly stable, and market activity in line with the seasonality and the firm’s expectations.

He said the decline in the average price of its rough diamonds was due to the changed sales assortment resulting from the increased demand for small-sized rough rocks from India’s cutting sector in the first half of 2017.

“We expect that in 2018 the diamond market will be balanced due to a moderate growth in the global demand for diamond jewellery and no major change in the global diamond mining,” Okoemov said in the statement

The miner produced 39.3 million carats of diamonds in 2017, slightly higher than the 37.4 million carats dug the previous year.

Alrosa and Anglo American’s De Beers unit produce about half of the world’s rough diamonds.

The company is currently being investigated by the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) about the forthcoming sale of its natural gas assets following a complaint from would-be buyer, energy giant Rosneft, which is the country’s largest oil producer.